By Ikuru Lizzy
The Obolo Youth Coalition (OYC), a non-political pressure group, has condemned abduction of a university lecturer and a traditional ruler, King Aaron Ikuru, paramount ruler of Ikuru Town, Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers state.
Mr. Mkpon Ijonama, President of the group, made the condemnation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the paramount ruler was abducted at his resident in Ikuru town, his country home while the University don, Dr. Jones Ayauwu, was adbucted along Nwiyakara road on the Ogoni/Opobo/Andoni axis of the state.
He called for unconditional release of the two victims by their abductors.
“The spate of insecurity in Andoni area is alarming, I’m very sad today, and I condemn the barbaric act of kidnapping perpetrated by unknown criminals who on Sunday Feb. 21 allegedly stormed Ikuru Town a community in Andoni local government area of Rivers kidnapping the paramount ruler at his country home.
“Ikuru is the also Chairman, Andoni Area Traditional Rulers Council and Pro-Chancellor/Chairman Governing Council of one of the state owned universities, the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
“Dr. Jones Ayauwu who was also abducted on same day (Sunday) is an indigene of Ataba town, a community also in Andoni area council of the state.
“Ayauwu was said to have been intercepted and abducted on his return from Awut-Obolo, a community in Andoni where his team went for a voluntary mission bothering on language translation of the Holy Bible.
“He is a University of Port Harcourt lecturer in the Department of Linguistics,” Ijonama said.
condenming the act, the youth leader said that the manace was indeed a threat to the area, ‘we haven’t witnessed a situation where a traditional ruler was kidnapped in his domain.
“This is a clear reason why we’ve always raised alarm over crime rate and particularly insecurity in Andoni area of the state.
“We have on several occasion appealed to stakeholders in the area and the state to decist from politicizing security issues.
“The news of King Aaron’s abduction is quiet shocking that’s why I’m appealing to the government, security agencies and relevant bodies to step up their responsibilities of safeguarding the citizens and also ensure a speedy release of the victims.
“If a king could be abducted, then the entire area is largely unsafe and if we fail to inform the government of our plight how then, will the menace be curbed,” he asked.
Ijonama also noted that prior to this time, the area had suffered so much attacks in the hands of sea pirates who basically operate from the creeks.
He narrated that the victims of such attacks were majorly the poor households especially woman who formed a greater number of fish traders in the area.
“Next victims were the middle class who were often kidnapped each time they pay visits to their country homes.
“Now that the security structure in Andoni has become so porous to the extent of abducting a paramount ruler from his domain, it’s indeed necessary to beef up security in Andoni and the entire state,” he added.
The youth leader therefore, urged elits, politicians and concerned individuals in the area to strive towards restoring a lasting peace to the area.