Student management

Kidnappers on the prowl in Calabar, kidnap college student and 9 others – The Sun Nigeria

Of Judex OkoroCalabar

Tension and fear has gripped residents of Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, as kidnappers appear to have invaded the metropolis, following the abduction of a University undergraduate student Arthur Jarvis and nine others over the past three weeks.

This comes even as Operation Akpakwu, the state security team, is said to be patrolling the main streets of the metropolis. Governor Ben Ayade inaugurated Operation Akpakwu in December 2020, following public outcry over kidnappings, robberies and sectarian clashes, which threatened peace and economic activities in the state.

The inauguration of Operation Akpakwu brought some relief and tranquility, as security guards got to work, carrying out surveillance, combing hotspots, creeks and villages, searching for criminals, suspected kidnappers and their collaborators. Akpakwu’s operations greatly reduced the wave of kidnappings and sectarian clashes for a long time, just as nightlife and other social activities gradually returned to the metropolis.

However, the past few weeks have seen an upsurge in kidnappings, as thugs stormed waterways, a school and some neighborhoods and highways and took away innocent people and reportedly collected ransoms from the victims, ranging from 200,000 to 5 million naira.

Daily Sun found that they were also operating in some residential areas of 8-Miles, Ikot Ishie, Uwanse and Mbukpa axes and took away household items and personal effects worth thousands of naira.

Sources close to the security officers revealed that a man known as Tunde was abducted three weeks ago along Lemmna Road at midday on his way to Akamkpa, where he lived. It was learned that the kidnappers were demanding 5 million naira.

Security sources further disclosed that two weeks ago gunmen abducted the presiding pastor of HeavensGate Church, located at Goodluck Jonathan By-pass. The pastor was followed and kidnapped to Idundun, where he went to show someone a piece of land he wanted to sell. Family sources said the pastor had yet to be released at the time of this report.

During the same week, five male passengers traveling to Oron, Akwa Ibom, in a boat for a funeral were abducted while the ladies on board were stolen and left in a nearby stream. However, the victims were rescued by security guards.

Not giving in to their despicable acts, armed men invaded Arthur Jarvis University, Akpabuyo on July 19, 2022, at around 9 p.m. and abducted a female student and injured others. The kidnappers demanded 2 million naira. The student was rescued.

And in another bold move, eight armed men raided Bateba Street near the Mayne Avenue Extension in the Municipality of Calabar and took Mr. Christopher Aligwe from his warehouse on July 28, 2022 Aligwe, a business tycoon, hailed from Nnewe in Enugu State and was a major distributor of sweets in Calabar.

The Daily Sun has learned that the gunmen stormed the victim’s warehouse at around 10.30am on that fateful day, cordoned off the compound and inspected the place for a few minutes before striking.

A witness who gave his name as Akpan said the thugs wore black, with caps and masks, and rode in a tinted Sienna van. He added that prior to their arrival, a teenager, aged at least 17, suspected of being a spy, was seen moving around the premises pretending to pick up scrap metal. Later he went straight to the victim upon seeing the gunmen and pointed at the man.

Pointing at Aligwe, three of the gunmen surrounded him and forced him into the waiting car, while firing in the air to scare neighbors who tried to intervene. And in commando style, the thugs sped off with the victim and the spy boy. Family sources revealed that the kidnappers called and demanded 50 million naira.

Another kidnapping gang struck in Satellite Town on the night of July 30, 2022 and abducted a lecturer at the University of Calabar’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration, ME Eteng, from his residence.

UNICAL Information Officer Eyo Offiong, who said the incident happened around 9 p.m., prayed for the speaker’s speedy release.

A witness and student from Arthur Jarvis University, who simply gave his name Ebong, said they were coming out of their evening reading class when armed men accosted and abducted one while others who ran for their lives were injured.

Ebong said, “It’s very unfortunate because the school has never witnessed this horrible incident before. It happened like a flash and they took one of us away. We are happy that our colleague has returned safe and sound. We call on the management to reinforce security.

Mrs. Eno Akan, one of Aligwe’s neighbors on Bateba Street, said: “Mr. Aligwe was shot dead late last year by gunmen in the same warehouse, but he managed and s escaped with the bullet wound. Since then he tried to be vigilant, until they struck again and caught him.

“We are alarmed by the crime rate in our area lately. We no longer sleep at night. Those bad boys are back. When Operation Akpakwu came on board in 2020, we had relative peace, but from what is happening, they caved. Insecurity is back in Calabar. We urge Governor Ayade to do something about this.

Expressing concern over the turn of events in Calabar over the past three weeks, Satellite Town resident Emmanuel Agba said: “We now live in utter fear as we now retreat to our homes and continue to pray to God to protect us. No one in Calabar is safe. We thought Operation Akpakwu had wiped out these miscreants. Security guards need to wake up and we are ready to cooperate.

Speaking earlier about the incident, Arthur Jarvis University Founder and Chancellor Sir Arthur Jarvis Archibong described the news going around the institution’s indefinite closure as untrue, explaining that some students had already finished their exams but were waiting. for project submission and other activities and would resume in October.

He said: ‘We want to assure every parent and ward that the safety of their children, our pupils, is essential, as we take the welfare and well-being of every pupil seriously and, apart from discreet measures that we have taken to prevent further occurrences of such a security breach, we guarantee that nothing like this will ever happen again.

Worried about the upsurge in kidnappings, traditional leaders in local communities in Akpabuyo and Bakassi, where Arthur Jarvis University is located, have decided to revert to old traditional ways of fighting crime.

Warning criminals to avoid communities, after a meeting with clan chiefs and university management, the chairman of the Council of Traditional Leaders of Cross River, Etiyin Etim Okon Edet, said their ancestors who were not school could rule their kingdoms with zero crime, so food was left in the market and not stolen.

Edet said: “We would work to return to the old system, hence the need for everyone to purge. Any traditional leader who is involved, or children are involved in a crime or criminality, now the person knows what will happen to them.