Edo monarch, CSO decry kidnap at train station

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Edo monarch, CSO decry kidnap at train station

The Onogie of Igueben, Edo State, Ehizojie Eluojierior, has said the kidnap of the train passengers on Saturday has thrown the community into an unwanted silence as people have yet to recover from the sad incident.

He claimed that kidnappings had previously happened around the area without getting reported most times.

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He said, “The mood in the town is quiet as well as activated because the police, vigilantes, and hunters are working together on the issue. They combed the bush till midnight on Saturday and resumed Sunday morning. I hear there had been a similar attempt in Delta State by bandits from another part of the country, which was repelled. The attack took everyone by surprise and it happened at about 4pm when the train was being expected.

“The security agencies are working to rescue those people, and information has it that they also shot people who sustained injuries.

“We are still trying to find out if our people were kidnapped or shot. Some people might probably be in hospitals but we are still trying to get details of what happened. No community member has come forward to report about the kidnap of their family members.

“The other thing is that when these people are travelling, you don’t know if they are travelling by road or rail. Though concerned citizens have been coming to me to give information about the abduction. The council representatives have been with me to see how they can mobilise more vigilantes and hunters.

“A pursuit is going on and it is when they settle down that the gunmen can contact the family of those abducted,” the royal father added.

The Executive Director, Esan Youth for Good Governance and Social Justice, Benson Odia, told The PUNCH that a woman who was abducted escaped while revealing that the manager and booking clerk at the train station were among those still missing.

He said the attack had thrown the community into panic and sadness with residents wondering what had become the fate of the victims.

Odia stated that the attack took place at about 4pm on Saturday when the intending passengers were waiting to board the train to Warri, Delta State.

He said, “The official time for the train to arrive was 4pm so the attack must have happened that time. On that Saturday evening, all intending passengers were waiting to board the train when the kidnappers struck with sophisticated weapons. The abducted victims included the manager, the booking clerk and passengers, while many persons are still missing

“As of 8.15 pm, a woman escaped and found herself in Opoji in Esan Central and she has reunited with her family. The woman is not from Igueben, she came for a ceremony and was at the station to take the train back to her destination in Warri.

“These attacks have become incessant in Edo Central and it is becoming difficult to use the roads,” he added.

Odia lamented as he alleged that those attacks were being carried out with the connivance of the locals who are from Igueben and its environs.

“I cannot really say the tribes of the attackers, whether they are Nigerians or foreigners. The forest is at the back of the railway. What I am trying to say is that there is connivance between our people and others. You can’t accuse the Fulani herdsmen of being the only ones involved. A Fulani from Sokoto or other parts of the country cannot operate freely here without the collaboration of the locals.

“I will call on the state government to work with the Federal Government to site a military base in Esanland. We are aware that kidnappers have their camps in Igueben.

The police and the state government officials when contacted said further statements would be released as the rescue mission went on.

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