OPERATIVES of the Nigerian Army and members of the vigilante groups in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State have rescued four persons kidnapped by herdsmen along the East-West Expressway.
It was gathered that the rescue operation was carried out around the Uwviamuge Junction of the highway after a gun duel that lasted for hours.
The Senior Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Security, who is also a vigilante commandant, Mr Monday Ohwesiri, told newsmen that immediately the kidnap incident was reported on Friday, his team contacted the Special Tactical Squad Unit of the Nigerian Army deployed in Ughelli to fight kidnapping and related crimes.
Ohwesiri said, “On Thursday, November 12, 2020, Fulani herdsmen, along the East-West road at Uwviamuge, shot indiscriminately at vehicles plying the road and no fewer than four persons were kidnapped by them.
“On Friday, November 13, 2020, the vigilante group in Ughelli received distress calls from Ododegho community of kidnapping in their community.
“We received a distress call from the Chairman of Ododegho community, informing the security outfit of perceived kidnapping in their community bush. I immediately contacted the Special Tactical Squad Unit of Nigerian Army.
“While combing the forests, the kidnappers sighted us at a close distance and opened fire on us and badly injured two members of the vigilantes.
“However, the Nigeria Army team led by Captain Joel from 63 Battalion ensured that the victims of Thursday kidnapping are rescued unhurt.”
The Publicity Secretary of Delta State Vigilantes group, Lucky Akeni, described the rescue mission as “a war-like theatre,” saying the “kidnappers, numbering about eight, all carried AK-47 guns with bags of ammunition.”