Kidnappers’ Dens Destroyed

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Eziowelle kidnappers' den

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The Anambra State government led by Governor Willie Obiano is ridding the states of criminal elements, especially kidnappers by demolishing their dens

By Maureen Chigbo  |  Apr. 27, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT  |

GOVERNOR Willie Obiano is taken the fight against kidnappers straight to their enclave in his bid to strengthen security and get rid of criminal in the state. Last week, Obiano, re-enforced security measures across the state and approved the demolition of two more kidnap dens. The two buildings were demolished Thursday, April 16, in Umuikwelle village Eziowelle Idemili North and Umugbom village Azigbo, Nnewi South Local Government Areas, respectively.

The demolished six-Bedroom bungalow at Eziowelle was used by one Obinna Okadigbo now at large and his gang‎ as a nest for their victims which include Vincent Nwachukwu kidnapped at Ogidi in August 2013. Nwachukwu was eventually released after the payment of N3 million ransom. Another victim of the gang, Maureen Onukwelu was kidnapped on November 26, 2013, at a new generation bank in Nnewi and relieved of N500, 000 before regaining her freedom.

Eziowelle den
Eziowelle den

The second building a 4-room  bungalow at Azigbo owned by  Simon Ikwukeme, was used as den by another gang led by  Emeka Chukwuka, Chukwuka Nkpuechina and Onuegbu Onyekachi. They kept one Justina Ezenwafor whom they kidnapped from Ekwulobia on October 10, 2014, and released three days later after extracting a ransom of N4million.

Eziowelle Kidnap Den demolished
Eziowelle Kidnap Den demolished

Joseph Agugoesie‎, assistant commissioner of Police justified the demolition, saying that the buildings were pulled down in accordance with the provisions of the law against kidnapping in Anambra State and a measure to re-state the commitment of the government and the security agencies to rid the state of kidnappers. According to Agugoesie, “the government is with this exercise demonstrating its resolve to stop kidnappers and all criminal elements from operating in Anambra. It is also to show that the Police and other security operatives are relenting on their job to ensure a crime free Anambra.”

Azigbo kinap Den
Azigbo kinap Den

This is not the first time that kidnappers’ den will be demolished in the state. But this new demolition is coming on the heels of the massive support Anambra people gave to the All Progressives Grand Alliance party in the state during April 11, state House of Assembly election. APGA cleared all the seats with one declared inconclusive.

Azigbo den demolished
Azigbo den demolished

According to Obiano, no kidnap incident had happened successfully in Anambra in the past one year because the security operatives were equipped to nip such threats in the bud. The governor reiterated that men of the Operation Kpochapu would deal decisively with anyone found involving in any form of crime or criminality in the state. “In the past one week, we have donated a gunboat to the Navy to enable them patrol the River Niger and stop inflow of arms into the state. We also took delivery of 15 speed boats and 6 Water Ambulances to assist the riverine communities in quick dispensation of healthcare services. I also wish to assure potential investors that we have machinery in place to protect their interest and ensure their safety in our state,” Obiano said.

Reacting to the demolition at Eziowelle, Francis Ezenwa Okosa‎, a building contractor and native, decried the attitude of young men who do not have any visible source of livelihood but tend to live above their means. He confirmed that he knew Obinna Okadigbo, the alleged kidnap Kingpin as a young man known to “live large in the community without any handwork.”

As Okosa put it, “this demolition of his father’s house which was built in the eighties has now confirmed our suspicions about his source of income. This is not good and should be condemned by everyone.” He advised young men in the community to learn from the mistakes of Obinna and avoid engaging in any criminal activity.

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