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Edo Train Attack: Govt Puts Number Of Abducted Victims At 20, Says 13 Still In Captivity

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January 11, (THEWILL) – The Edo State Government, on Wednesday, said the latest intelligence on last Saturday’s kidnap at the Igueben train station, indicated that 20 people were actually kidnapped and not the 32 figure earlier reported.

Commissioner for communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare, who made the clarifications at a press conference in Benin, on Wednesday, said 13 victims remained in captivity, as seven others had earlier been rescued by the joint operations of the military, Police, vigilantes and local hunters.

He assured that efforts had been doubled to seek the rescue of the remaining victims.

Nehikhare urged the media to pay attention to the safety and well-being of those still in captivity by taking sensationalism out of their reportage.

He said the state deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, had met with the local rulers and village heads, where he enjoined them to be conscious of their responsibility of identifying strangers in their domains and reporting unusual activities to the government.

The deputy governor, Nehikhare said, equally warned the traditional rulers and village heads of the consequences of harbouring criminals in their domains, as doing so would attract full punishment, which he said included the forfeiture of houses used for hostage abode, demolition and prosecution of landlords for murder if such a kidnap act involved the death of the victim.

“From the intelligence we have, we discovered that the kidnappers are holding 13 victims as against the 31, said that only 20 persons were kidnapped in the Saturday train abduction saga, and not 32 earlier reported.

“Those kidnapped are 20 and so far, seven have been rescued and we are confident that the ordeals of the remaining 13 citizens will soon be over”, he assured.

He maintained that the state government was strengthening security to check crime and criminality, vowing that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration would make the state unsafe for kidnappers and other criminal elements to thrive.

The commissioner said the deputy governor was joined at the meeting by other top government officials, including the Senator representing Edo Central Senatorial District, Senator. Clifford Ordia and the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Marcus Onobun, where he called for calm among residents of Igueben LGA, and urged members of the public to provide useful information that would aid the rescue efforts by security agencies.

Nehikhare dismissed the insinuation that the state government rested on its oars because of the peace the state enjoyed during the Yuletide.

He said the train station, where the victims were kidnapped “belongs to the Federal Government and the Federal Government assured that it has put enough security arrangements in place and we believed them.

“But I must say that this is not the time for blame games. Our focus is to have all our people released. And I must commend the Military, the Police and our local vigilantes and hunters for their efforts so far.”