The abduction of the Commissioner for Women Affairs in Cross River, Mrs. Gertrude Njar, House of Representatives member’s aide, Kenneth Abang and his relative, Eunice Abang and others within the last three days, has thrown the state into panic.
While Mrs Njar was whisked away by gunmen in a commando-style operation right in the heart of Calabar metropolis on February 2, the Abangs met the same fate at Betem, Biase, along the Calabar-Ikom Federal Highway on January 30.
Mr Ibok Nsa, who witnessed the commissioner’s abduction, said “the lady was accosted by gunmen in military uniforms along Mayne Avenue by Atamunu Street. They demanded to know why she was driving a car with a covered plate number.
“While she was trying to explain and make some desperate calls to some government officials to come to her rescue, the kidnappers stopped her from further using the phone, bundled her into her official car and zoomed off.”
Similarly, Abang, legislative aide to Hon Chris Agibe, a House of Representatives member representing Boki-Ikom Federal Constituency, was said to be traveling with his relative, Eunice, to their home in Boki to prepare for the burial of his father when the incident happened.
“He was kidnapped alongside his relative, Miss Eunice Abang. They took them away and abandoned his car by the roadside,” an eyewitness explained.
Again, Donatus Etim, former local government boss, was lucky to have escaped with bullet wounds when gunmen, believed to be kidnappers, shot at his vehicle along Calabar-Akamkpa road while returning from a burial ceremony.
Unconfirmed reports say the hoodlums had opened fire indiscriminately on travelers and one of the bullets hit one of Etim’s legs. He is currently receiving medical attention at one of the hospitals in Calabar.
Efforts to contact the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police, Irene Ugbo, for additional information on the sudden widespread insecurity in the State in recent times did not sail through as her telephone lines could not connect.
However, some residents of Calabar, who spoke with Blueprint feared the situation may worsen as Nigeria prepares for general election.
Speaking, a community leader, Chief Ekpenyong Itam, said “our country is collapsing every day. Insecurity is taking a very worrying dimension, there is no fuel, there is money in circulation, and the cost of living is suicidal while our leaders are busy campaigning for political positions. I fear for Nigeria. Security forces should do something before this country descends into the abyss.”