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Kidnap Victim

30.10.2022 news ‘Your Blood Is Sweet’ —  Experiences of Imo Residents With Kidnappers, Gunmen

Published 30th Oct, 2022

By Tarinipre Francis

Residents of Umuananu, Avu and other communities around Obinze, Imo State, have reported kidnappings and shootings in the area.

On Friday, a Twitter user, @Original_Kachi, said Obinze community was under attack and people were dying and being kidnapped.

https://twitter.com/Original_Kachi/status/1585778137547542528?s=20&t=wKbU7o0RdDfq0LdD9CkZaA

This was not the only tweet that raised the alarm on rising insecurity in the area. In response to a tweet by Deborah Tolu-Kolawole, more people confirmed heightened insecurity, robberies, kidnappings and shootings around Obinze, the host community of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).

READ ALSO: Nigerian Arrested in India Over Staged Abduction of American Tourist

A Twitter user, @Johnkizz29, said, “Some FUTO students were victims of kidnap along Obinze to FUTO. After a ransom was paid, they were released.”

“YOUR BLOOD SWEET O”

FIJ gathered from a native of Umuanunu who preferred to remain anonymous that attacks on the community started two weeks ago when a woman was kidnapped from her home, leaving only her two children.

According to him, it was the woman’s husband who, after returning home and finding only their two little children, alarmed the community, and then youths led a search party into the bush.

The woman was found in the forest raped, with hands and legs tied. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The source also said that while walking down a farm road for a land inspection, his uncle and another man were abducted. The kidnappers demanded N10 million from each of the men and gave them till 11 am the following day to pay, he said.

“They were beaten so badly. My uncle’s head was broken and his blood licked. A comment was made, ‘Your blood is sweet,'” said the source.

Fortunately, the victims managed to escape while the kidnappers were asleep. The source said he received a call from his uncle at about 8 am the following day.

READ ALSO: ALERT: Daylight Robberies Increasing in Lagos While Policemen Flee

FIJ learnt that there had been an upsurge in robberies in the community, and that just on Thursday, gunshots were fired at a car in an attempt to kidnap the driver, but he fled and alerted the village.

Following the alert, “the youths of Umuanunu, Obinze, called the attention of the police and the army, since there is a barrack close to my town. Two Hilux filled with soldiers, a bus filled with policemen and an armored tank came to our community to comb the bushes looking for these men. They ran away”.

He stated that Umuanunu, Obinze, had always been a peaceful town, but that the community was now living in fear.

‘WE ARE NERVOUS— FUTO STUDENT

One of the students at FUTO told FIJ she was “nervous”. There had been reports of a kidnapping, but no information about the victim had been released, she said.

Another student said she had received information from FUTO student journalists and media outlets warning students to be vigilant in and out of school environs and be especially cautious on Port Harcourt road, where Avu and Obinze communities are located.

The students also stated that there had been a report of a kidnapping on Port Harcourt road after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called off its eight-month strike, and that while the incident did not occur in Obinze, many of FUTO’s students live in close proximity to such areas, and had been warned to be cautious.

Another student, Uche Eboise, also confirmed that gunmen opened fire in Umuanunu, Obinze community, between 7 pm and 9 pm on Thursday, leaving residents running for their lives.

He said two people were confirmed dead from the attack, and that some students had also shared experiences of being kidnapped or knowing someone who was either kidnapped or escaped being kidnapped.

A student’s experience with kidnappers

When FIJ contacted CSP Michael Abattam, spokesperson of Imo State Police Command, he stated that Imo State was safe and secure, and that the police had stop-and-search and observational points in those areas, as well as tactical units.

He added that people should come forward to report any suspicious activity to the police.

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Published 30th Oct, 2022

By Tarinipre Francis

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