In a continuation of high profile kidnappings in Delta State, the President of Isoko Development Union (IDU), Gregory Akpojene, was kidnapped two days ago, SaharaReporters has learnt. Mr. Akpojene was kidnapped in his home town, Otor-Igho, in Isoko North Local Government Area.
A source told SaharaReporters that at least seven gunmen invaded the kidnap victim’s home where they nabbed him. Akpojene’s home is a mere three-minute drive away from Owhelogbo where Markson Macaulay, the son of the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Ovuozorie Macaulay, was kidnapped in June. The latest kidnap victim’s home is also about 14 miles away from Emevor where a former soccer star, Christian Obodo, was rescued barely two months ago.
A family source told SaharaReporters that Mr. Akpojene, a veteran farmer, was kidnapped as he was about to enter his car. His kidnappers then took him away to an unknown destination.
The source added that the Isoko leader’s abductors were yet to establish contact with any member of his family as at yesterday morning.
The secretary general of IDU, Julius Mallam-Obi, confirmed the kidnap. Describing the development as unfortunate and troubling, he added security agencies had been informed. He appealed to the kidnappers to release the Isoko leader unharmed.
In a comment on the incident, a Port Harcourt-based lawyer, Duncan Akpovienehe Mr. Afahokor, decried the incessant rate of kidnappings and other crimes in Delta State. Mr. Afahokor also called on security agents to ensure that Mr. Akpojene is released unhurt.
“It is unfortunate that [Mr. Akpojene] could be subjected to this ordeal. These mindless crimes must be brought to a halt,” said the lawyer. He added that the Isoko leader was to be an honored guest at a celebration of his wedding anniversary last Sunday, but failed to make it due to his busy schedule. “It is then sad to hear this morning that he is presently in the kidnappers’ den in an unknown place,” the lawyer said.
In a tearful voice, Mr. Afahokor said, “I share in the trauma of our president and his immediate family, and I join my voice with other Isoko sons and daughters to plead with those holding him hostage to please release him unhurt.”
A police source told SaharaReporters that Delta State was currently under siege by kidnappers, armed robbers, rapists and other criminals. He added that many unlucky victims of violent crimes have lost their lives.
Insecurity continues to reign in the state despite Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s insistence that peace and security top his 3-point agenda.