Unknown persons who are holding the outgoing Chairman of Okrika Local Government Council, Phelemon Kingoli, hostage have eventually made their move. 

According to what the  Port Harcourt Telegraph has learnt, the abductors of the Council Chairman,  presumed to be kidnappers, are reportedly asking for ransom after five days of holding the council chairman hostage.

Kingoli has not been seen since his abductors forcefully seized him along Dr Peter Odili Road in Trans Amadi on Wednesday.

Our sources say he was on his way home after he attended a crucial meeting of Okrika heavyweights in the PDP which was called to plan the flag off of local campaigns designed to market the new chairman and a set of councillors.

Nnamdi Omoni, Rivers Police Spokesperson told TheCable during an interview that an investigation is currently ongoing.

“There is no contact yet from the kidnappers, but we are out to ensure that the man is released timely and unhurt,” the Cable quoted Omoni as saying.

The Telegraph has learnt that men of the Rivers State Police Command under CP Friday Eboka are spreading their dragnet in every direction as the investigation peaks.

Days after the police said there has been no contact from the kidnappers, we have however, learnt of a demand for ransom.

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 The request for ransom thus ends days of anxiety and tension, especially among family members who have been concerned for his personal safety, following the monstrous silence maintained by his captors.

“We were worried after Phelemon was taken captive that what seems to be the usual protocol  by kidnappers to demand ransom did not take place”, a source close to the family disclosed.

According to information gleaned Sunday night by this publication,  the kidnappers are reportedly asking for a sum of N150 million in exchange for the release of their prized victim.

The timing of the kidnap of the council chairman who has been snatched a few weeks to the end of his tenure in office has left many wondering.

Were the kidnappers targeting the council’s last allocation? Could they be part of a group that is demanding settlement for their effort?

No one can answer these questions with any measure of certainty. But, from all indications, the level of crime being perpetuated in River State, where Governor Nyesom Wike is planning a massive overhaul of the State’s security infrastructure, is on the increase.  

Of late, clashes between persons believed to be cultists have resurfaced while a number of persons have lost their lives.

The latest victims, two of them, were killed around Ben Harry, a popular motel with a drinking outlet allegedly  patronalised by “Town Boys”, which is located between Bende and Victoria Streets.

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Along the Oyigbo axis, security is bracing up as the Rivers State Government warns members of IPOB with which it has a running battle not to attempt to host a planned meeting in the area.

In the South East where there have been serious disturbances,the State Governments and stakeholders have come up with an internwl security organ code named Ebubeagu.

Many here fear that the wave of violence in the East may spill over to the South South.

What will be the response of the South South to the battle against high-wire crime?

In the days ahead, many within the geographical zone expect their leaders and governments to come together in order to take a more holistic view of the security situation.

For now, the hunt for those who are holding the Okrika council chairman hostage continues.