Some armed men in the early hours of Friday stormed Buguma, a community in Rivers State and abducted six workers of an Israeli-run Buguma mega fish farm, owned by the Rivers state government.
Four of the victims are nationals of Thailand, while the remaining are Nigerians, and they were on their way to work on the fish farm, managed by Omida Farms, an Israeli company between 7 and 7: 30 am when the hoodlums kidnapped them.
The two Nigerians were released, according to the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Emma Chindah, but one of them jumped into the water and drowned in an attempt to escape quickly.
The commissioner said that the abduction was as a result of the deteriorating state of security situation in the state, alleging that the situation had emboldened criminals, who were hitherto in hiding.
He said that the kidnappers were yet to reach out to anybody and demand for ransom as is the tradition in such abduction.
He said: “The hoodlums took six of the, including two Nigerians, but they decided to drop the two Nigerians among their victims, probably in a bid to prevent being easily traced. Unfortunately, one of them tried to escape, jumped into the water and drowned, the other one managed to swim to safety.
“We have reported the matter to the police, but what must be emphasized is that these hoodlums feel emboldened to do this because they believe the police is now their friend, you will remember when so-called militants protested on the streets of Port Harcourt in support of Mbu.
“Now they have the idea that they have the police on their side and that they can resume crimes without consequences. Buguma had been calm before now, you can see that the situation is gradually degenerating into something sad”, Chindah said.
The spokesperson of the Rivers police command, Angela Agabe (DSP), did not make an official confirmation of the incident, noting that she heard of the incident from journalists.
She said: “They have been calling me over the matter, but I’m yet to get official confirmation from the DPO. I called his number, but I couldn’t get through, I then sent him a text message. I believe he will send me a sitrep when he sees my message”, Agabe said.