Suspected kidnappers have abducted Orhifi Orovwagbarha Agbarha-Ide Ememoh II, the Ovie (traditional ruler) of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom, in the Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Our correspondent learnt that the Urhobo monarch was abducted on Wednesday along the Ughelli/Asaba Expressway near Ossissa community in the Ndokwa-East Local Government Area of the state while travelling for a meeting in Asaba, the state capital.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the kidnappers had opened a line of communication with the Agbarha-Warri Kingdom, demanding N50m ransom.
A top chief of the Agbarha-Warri kingdom, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the abduction of the traditional ruler when contacted on the telephone.
The source said, “Our monarch was travelling to Asaba, the state capital, to attend a security summit when his convoy was waylaid by some armed men, who whisked him to an unknown destination.”
A senior police officer in the state confirmed the king’s abduction, noting that the hoodlums had reached out demanding “an unspecified ransom before the monarch could be released.”
The National Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition, Mr. Zik Gbemre, accused security operatives in the state of ineptitude for allowing hoodlums to be on the rampage.
He said, “I can talk about the situation in Warri because NDPC has been inundated with the news of gradual resurgence of criminals in the area. It shows we are not secure. The impunity with which the criminals are operating without response from the police has become alarming.
“On November 28, a driver of Chief Tunde Smooth, named Emmanuel Ikemefuma Chidubem, was shot dead.
“The cocky robbers drove with glee, shooting through front of the Warri AC’s office without response from the police.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the monarch’s abduction, adding that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, was leading the rescue operation.
Anianmaka called on the people of the state to help the police with information that would lead to the rescue of the traditional ruler, as well as nip the resurgence of kidnapping in the state in the bud.