ENUGU- There was palpable fear in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area as the Auditor General of Enugu State, Ogbobe Stephen, was yesterday kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen. The abduction happened along Nsukka-Adani express road. The herdsmen contacted family members Ogbobe’s family demanding 5 million naira ransom.
Reports have it that Mr. Ogbobe visited his country home for a town hall meeting in the company of other friends and relatives. On their way back, the convoy was waylaid. Investigations showed that the rampaging Fulani Herdsmen abducted their victim in broad daylight (about 4pm). Members of a local vigilante group and the Nigerian police force have initiated frantic efforts to secure the release of mr. Stephen. They are also said to be patrolling the road.
Meanwhile, the Fulani herdsmen dragged their victim into the bush and disappeared. The wife of Mr. Stephen Ogbobe told reporters that she was notified of her husband’s predication a day after the incident occurred. According to her, the kidnappers later contacted them demanding a ransom of 5 million naira in cash.
Mrs Ogbobe also told reporters that an ongoing negotiation with her husband’s abductors have dropped the ransom from 5 million to 1.5 million naira. According to her, the amount demanded by her husband’s abductors are way too high for a civil servant to produce. Asked whether she had lodged a formal complaint at any police station, Mrs. Ogbobe said the family have not done so citing fear of him being killed by his abductors. To this point, a joint team of police men numbering over 50 have scoured the forest seeking for clues to the Marauding Fulani Herdsmen hide out – without successful result.
A worrisome development relating to incessant kidnaps by Fulani herdsmen is the perceived silence on the part of the Buhari led administration. One angry youth from the area stated that: “The Federal Government of Nigeria should not be surprised when people of the Middle-Belt and South-Eastern Nigeria take up arms in self-defense. Since the law cannot defend a people, then they are perfectly justified to defend themselves,” he lamented.