Four persons have been kidnapped by some suspected herdsmen in military uniforms at a checkpoint in Enugu State.
SaharaReporters gathered that the incident occurred on Tuesday morning at a military checkpoint along Udi-Oji Road at Obioma, close to Obioma Secondary School in the Udi local government area of the state.
One of the victims who was shot during the attack and left at the checkpoint, Chidi Ude, confirmed the incident to SaharaReporters on Thursday.
He said he is from Nsude community in the same local government area and that he and some of the other victims were on their way to work when the attack happened.
According to him, three of the kidnapped victims are his family members. He noted that a woman among them is a teacher from the same community.
He said, “My uncle, one Celestine Udearo and I were driving out around 6.50 on Tuesday when the attack happened. He was driving ahead of me with one of our brothers, Johnson Onoh in his car. When they got to the military checkpoint at Obioma, some herdsmen wielding AK-47s and wearing military uniforms with facemasks stopped them and took them hostage. They didn’t shoot any of them.
“When I got close to the checkpoint and noticed the usual movements, I tried to go back but they started shooting at my car. The bullets deflated my tyres and I couldn’t speed again. I was carrying one of my brothers, Maduabuchi Udearo and a woman; I don’t really know her name. She is a teacher; she was going to Udi town for her teaching work.
“So, when they got to me, they shot me in the leg and took my brother and the woman to where they kept my uncle and the other person.
“A few minutes later, they took them inside the bush and disappeared from the checkpoint.”
“They were all Fulani herdsmen wearing military uniforms, and we were attacked at a military checkpoint. You know what military checkpoints look like, you can’t drive freely and that was where they came and carried out their kidnapping operation,” he said.
Ude further noted that the kidnappers have opened negotiations over the payment of a ransom.
“They were demanding N20 million initially but yesterday they came down to N10 million.
“They asked us yesterday to send them recharge cards which we did. We have reported the incident to the police. The local vigilantes from Obioma, Abia and Nsude Communities have teamed up to search for them.
“I am in hospital as we speak. I was told that our vigilantes are tracking them. They said they saw where the kidnappers cooked noodles and they also recovered receipts and documents bearing our son’s name inside the bush.
“The policemen from Enugu State Police Headquarters came that day and took my uncle’s vehicle to their office. So, they are fully aware of the incident but I don’t know whether they are doing anything about it.”
The spokesperson for the state police command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, could not be reached for comments as his mobile phone indicated that it was switched off.