Military, Police Aiding And Abetting Kidnapping At Umunneochi Axis, Residents Allege

Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba

The current menace of kidnappings for ransom in some parts of Abia state, especially on the Isuochi-Ihube-Umunneochi axis will never abate unless the federal government and other relevant authorities rid the areas of the presence of the present crop of soldiers and Police personnel providing security in the areas.

This is just as the security agencies have been accused of conniving, aiding, abetting and providing cover for kidnapers in the area.

Some concerned community stakeholders of Umunneochi/Isuochi who made the observation in an interactive session with the press in Aba on Tuesday, August15 2023, said they are more than convinced that the spate of kidnappings ongoing in the area has the backing of the security personnel stationed at the various security check-points on the axis.

The Abia State Police Command, however, said it does not have any practical evidence to support the allegations against its personnel in their alleged link with kidnappers and other criminal elements in the state.

The concerned community stakeholders who craved anonymity alleged that the soldiers at the various flash points have been compromised by the kidnappers, most of whom they believe are suspected herdsmen.

They cited a recent kidnapping incident involving a pastor at one of the military check-points, after some Police officers on duty were driven away by Soldiers, to buttress their suspicion of the soldier’s complicity.

They therefore called on the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti to officially request the withdrawal of all conventional security personnel deployed in the areas and replace them with the newly formed “Operation Crush’ personnel.

“We as a people have been reporting and giving credible intelligence to the soldiers, but have noticed that such information is not acted upon because it is allegedly against them (soldiers). Many of our community members have had bitter experiences providing them with intelligence reports.

“The Police team are no better. We have heard and seen instances where soldiers ordered police officials to leave a certain area where they reasonably suspected kidnapping activities are taking place.

The soldiers will claim that they are the ones lawfully assigned to the place and proceed to leave the scene as soon the Police exit. Within some minutes someone will be kidnapped at the same spot. This is the reality of the plight of our people in many parts of Isuochi and Umunneochi,”one stakeholder claimed.

Spokesperson for the Abia State Police Command Maureen Chinaka, ASP, urged members of the public to provide the Police with all the necessary evidence suggesting and or linking its operatives to the activities of kidnappers in any area of the state, adding that the command has upped its efforts at tracking down criminal elements in the state. 

“The Police is actively conducting operations in the affected areas. We are assuring members of the public that the Police will be alive to its responsibilities,” Chinaka stated.

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