GUNMEN AMBUSH TRAVELLERS, KIDNAP SEVERAL ON DELTA HIGHWAY
A yet to be specified number of travellers have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen around the Agbarho axis of the busy Warri/Ughelli highway in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Sources say the incident, which happened around 6.30 pm on Wednesday, between the Ekreravwen junction and Umvwiamuge-Agbarho junction, involved no fewer than six vehicles, including a commercial bus that belongs to Agofure Motors.
Eyewitness account reveals that all the passengers in the Agofure bus, a private Mercedes Benz car, a Keke, and occupants of a Toyota Siena vehicle, were abducted at gunpoint by the criminals.
The attack was launched when the assailants stormed the road from a nearby bush shooting sporadically, then dragged out the travellers from their vehicles and escaped through the bush path with their victims, the source added.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, has confirmed the incident, however, said the number of abducted persons was unknown.
The PPRO assured the general public that a rescue operation had already been launched to free the victims and arrest the abductors.
“Several persons were kidnapped but we cannot ascertain the number for now. So, let’s not exaggerate the figures.
“Right from the time the incident happened, our men have been in the bush trying to rescue the victims. The kidnappers were repelled by the Dragon Patrol team on the highway. If not, it would have been worse than what it is.
“We don’t know if anybody was killed. But one wounded person was rescued,” Onovwakpoyeya said.
The area is not doubt a hotspot for notorious criminal activities as travellers had been abducted on the same spot in the past.
In September 2019, several travellers were also abducted by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen in the area, which led to the killing of a police Inspector, identified as Muhammad.
In March 2020, three travellers were abducted by gunmen along Okpavuerhe-Olomu Road in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the State.