Security operatives comprising men of the Nigeria Army, the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service (SSS) yesterday moved into Omademe community and other neighbouring communities in Ikwerre and Etche local government areas of Rivers State in an attempt to rescue the kidnapped members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the state.
The kidnappers of the five NYSC members are demanding a ransom of N100 million from the families of their victims.
A source at the Police Headquarters in Port Harcourt told LEADERSHIP that the security men, who moved in no fewer than 25 patrol vans, acted on a tip-off, pointing out that they would join other policemen who were deployed on Wednesday to trace the whereabouts of the kidnapped NYSC members.
The victims, four females and a male, were kidnapped by unknown gunmen last Tuesday night at Omademe community while they were on their way to inspect a school library, a community development project initiated by them in the area.
NYSC public relations officer (PRO) in the state Mr. Ben Esan told journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday that the abductors had already contacted parents of the victims and were demanding a ransom of N100 million.
Esan also said the kidnappers equally spoke with the NYSC liaison officer in Ikwerre making a similar demand, pointing out that the names of the abducted corps members were yet to be made public, but that they are members of 2011 batch ‘A’ and ‘B’.
He stated that the kidnap of the five NYSC members has sent cold shivers down the spine of the authorities and members of the National Youth Service Corps in the state, especially as it was the second time such incident had occurred in the state.
In September, 2010, five female NYSC members were abducted from their lodge at a community secondary school in the area and were later transferred to a hideout in Abia State where they spent several weeks in captivity before they regained their freedom.