BARELY four days after gunmen killed three policemen working with the governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa at Iseke in Ihiala local government area of Anambra State on their way to Abia State, gunmen again on Tuesday kidnapped 15 members of the National Youth Service Corps( NYSC) in the same community.
Iseke is a border community with Orsu local government area of Imo State, which had become a safe haven for gunmen operating in Imo State and parts of Ihiala in Anambra State.
It was gathered that the NYSC members, who had completed their three weeks orientation programme in Imo State, were travelling to Lagos when they were abducted by the hoodlums at a popular filling station along Onitsha- Owerri roay in Ihiala.
According to a source in the area, the vehicle conveying the corps members was forced to divert towards the dreaded Ihiala – Orlu road and ended up at Iseke where the gunmen held the corps members hostage.
It was further gathered that when the hoodlums noticed that they were being trailed by security operatives, they abandoned their captives and fled.
Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident, adding that the 15 corps members had since been rescued unhurt.
A statement by the PPRO read: “Anambra State Police operatives, responding to a distress call along Iseke -Ihiala road, rescued unhurt 15 abducted corps members from NYSC Orientation Camp, Eziama-Obaire, Nkwerre, LGA of Imo State.
“Information reveals that the corps members finished their three weeks orientation programme on Tuesday and were en route to Lagos before their vehicle was intercepted at Total Filing Station junction in Ihiala by yet-to-be identified armed men in unmarked white Toyota Hilux.
“The corps members’ vehicle was diverted to Iseke, along Ihiala-Orlu expressway where the gunmen held them hostage. The armed men, noticing that they were being followed by Police operatives, abandoned the corps members and zoomed off with the Toyota Hiace bus with Reg Nos: EPE 353 YE conveying the NYSC members.”
The PPRO explained that the corps members had been debriefed by police operatives, adding that necessary arrangements had been made to convey them back to their destinations.