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Anxiety As Wike’s Ultimatum On Abducted Foreigners Expires

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BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port Harcourt

Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has said that there was no going back on his 72-hour ultimatum to communities in Andoni local government area to find the three abducted expatriates in the area.

As the deadline expires, fear has gripped traditional rulers and political leaders in the council, who the ultimatum directly affects.

Last weekend, suspected gunmen abducted three Lebanese, who are workers of Raffoul Nigeria Limited, a construction company handling the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road in the area.

In a reaction to the incident, Wike threatened to withdraw the recognition of all traditional rulers in the council if the victims were not released within 72 hours.

The governor also threatened to stop work on the Andoni axis of the road.

He reiterated this threat yesterday at an event in the Government House, Port Harcourt when Wike said that he would not go back on the ultimatum.

The governor said: “The attorney-general of Rivers State, I have told your people if they don’t release those expatriates that they kidnapped, there will be no road. I will revoke the contract.

“There will be no road to Andoni. I can’t understand how people who never had road for over a hundred year would allow their children to kidnap people sent to work for them.”

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has said its operatives are closing in on the kidnappers of the construction workers.

The police public relations officer, Nnamdi Omoni, told newsmen in Port Harcourt that only two Lebanese were kidnapped.

Omoni said: “We have put in place the necessary machinery that will engender their timely rescue. The commissioner of police has given directive to heads of Tactical Units to relocate to Andoni local government area to ensure that the victims are rescued.

“We are working with the communities, local fishermen and they have shown genuine commitment towards ensuring that the victims are rescued. I can assure you, we are closing in on them,” he said.

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