Joint Task Force, JTF, which rescued 28 workers of an oil servicing company, China Petrochemical Corporation, Sinepoc on Ikang waterways in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, has declared wanted, leader of the militant group, Lapto Marine Force.
One of the workers, who allegedly ran away out of fear, when JTF attacked the camp, where the militant leader, Lapto, had held them hostage, has been rescued in neighbouring Akpabuyo Local Government Area.
Commander of JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, Major General Johnson Ochoga, yesterday, said, “The 28th person has been found. All of them are safe. The one that was not immediately seen has been picked up and he is safe. They have been handed back to the oil company, Sinopec.
“The last person was rescued at Akpabuyo. The 27 others were rescued from Lapto’s camp in the creeks, close to Ikang. All the oil workers were kidnapped when they were going to Sinopec’s worksite in Akwa Ibom State.”
JTF also denied allegations that the militant group was agitating for self determination for Bakassi people.
Although JTF had on Saturday, when it rescued the abducted oil workers, declared the gang leader, Lapto wanted, Gen. Ochoga, who said the militant leader was on the run, maintained, “He is declared wanted. He is not a friend to any one, if he can take 28 Nigerians captive and this is not the first of its kind.”
One of the rescued workers, Mr. Boniface Christopher, explained that their abductors picked them up on their way to work at Coco River, adding that they were ordered to lie down before their raincoats were used to blindfold them.