Police, Obudu youths trade blame over kidnapping
The Cross River State Police Command on Sunday disagreed with youths in Obudu for planning to protest over the increasing rate of kidnapping in community.
There have been several reported cases of kidnap in Obudu with relatives paying at least N1m ransom to secure the release of victims.
Southern City News learnt youths, led by one Benedict Agba, had hinted on their intention to protest along major roads.
Agba had gone also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the police authority to transfer policemen from the Obudu division due to what he referred to as “underperformance.”
He said, “Some of these policemen have been here for 10 years. Their familiarity with members of the communities around Obudu is making them to underperform. We are calling for a mass transfer of the officers.
“We have informed all the chiefs and clan heads, the rate of kidnapping in Obudu has gone haywire, something must be done.”
A resident of Obudu, Anayo Solomon, recalled some of the recent cases of kidnapping included the February 2 abduction of a businessman and palm wine dealer, Jude Agaba, popularly known as FG and the March 1 kidnap of an hotelier, George Imanyi, among others.
He said, “Five days after FG’s release, a man simply identified as Simon, who owns a pharmaceutical shop in Obudu was abducted at about 8.30pm in his house. Obudu has seen a wave of kidnappings. In all these, huge ransoms were paid.”
However, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, disagreed with the position of the youths that policemen in the division had become relaxed in tackling crime.
Inuwa commended the role played by the divisional police officer in the area in ensuring that kidnapped victims were rescued from the abductors.
He blamed relatives of kidnap victims of complicity in most of the matters being investigated, adding that most of the victims were always swiftly taken from Obudu to neighbouring communities of Benue State.
The commissioner promised to carry out overhaul in the Obudu division where necessary.
He said, “Nearly all the kidnappings have internal collaborators and you know Obudu has border with Benue where these people are taken to swiftly. The DPO has been doing his best to effect arrest in each of the instances. For instance, three women and two men were arrested in connection with the kidnap of a chemist shop owner.
“Crimes like robbery and kidnapping are very serious matters that we do not play with and the DPO has been doing his best. However, we will soon look at the books to redeploy those that have stayed in Obudu for too long.”