A NIGERIAN is feared dead while four Thai nationals were kidnapped by unknown gunmen who invaded a Rivers State government-owned mega fish farm at Buguma, in Asari-Toru Local Council Area.
Sources in the community informed Guardian journalist that the gunmen stormed the fish farm, which is managed by Omida Farms, an Israeli company, in the early hours of Friday in a speedboat and abducted six workers, comprising four Thais, a female from Rivers State and a male from Delta State.
Rivers State Commissioner for Agriculture, Emma Chindah, who confirmed the incident, explained that the bandits dragged their victims into the speedboats and drove into the creeks.
According to him, the kidnappers later had a change of mind and decided to release the two Nigerians who were then left to their fate to swim out of the creek. While the female worker swam out, his male counterpart drowned.
“The hoodlums took six of the workers, including two Nigerians, but they decided to drop the two Nigerians among their victims, probably in a bid to prevent being easily traced. Unfortunately, one of them tried to escape, jumped into the water and drowned, the other one managed to swim to safety.
“We have reported the matter to the police, but what must be emphasised is that these hoodlums feel emboldened to do this because they believe the police is now their friend. You will remember when so-called militants protested on the streets of Port Harcourt in support of Mbu. Now they have the idea that they have the police on their side and that they can resume crimes without consequences. Buguma had been calm before now; you can see that the situation is gradually degenerating into something sad,” he said.
The spokesperson of the Rivers Police Command, Mrs. Angela Agabe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said she was yet to get a formal situation report from the Buguma Divisional Police Officer.
“They have been calling me over the matter but I’m yet to get official confirmation from the DPO. I called his number but I couldn’t get through. I then sent him a text message. I believe he will send me a situation report when he sees my message,” she said.