The Rivers State government yesterday confirmed the kidnap of Mr. Augustine Wokocha, the state Commissioner for Power by unidentified men.
The state Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari, who confirmed the incident yesterday said the information available at the time of the incident indicated that the commissioner was on a spot assessment of some areas affected by the recent flooding in the state when he was kidnapped.
“It is believed that he was on his way to monitor relief materials and the situation in one of the camps before the incident happened. Although the details are sketchy, the government wishes to confirm that the security agencies are on top of the situation and have the full cooperation and backing of the government to ensure that the official is rescued and the perpetrators brought to book”, she said.
She said the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has directed security agencies to ensure the safe return of Hon Wokocha without delay. The security agencies are working on a number of leads and a combined search mission is in full swing to unravel the untoward development.
“It is pertinent to state that the state has enjoyed relative peace and quiet until now. The government wishes to assure all citizens of their security and safety. In the same vein, members of the public who may have useful information are encouraged to pass same on to the Police or any of the security agencies”, she said.
“Clearly this incident has generated much interest and further information will be shared as events unfold. As always we appreciate the support of the media in ensuring that our society is crime free”, the commissioner said.
Meanwhile the Rivers state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has demanded for an immediate and complete overhaul of the security systems, including total redeployment of all rank and file of security men in Rivers State as a result of the kidnapping of the commissioner and two top management staff of the College of Education Technical Omuku, namely, College Librarian, Dr R.F.Quadri and Director of Academic, Planning and Statistic, Dr Richard Ihua Maduenyi”.
A statement signed by Mr. Jerry Needam of the ACN said: “We demand explanations in the face of high rate of kidnappings in Rivers State how billions of Naira, security vote and tax payers’ money are spent. The kidnap of these men is criminal, cruel and evil. We demand for their immediate and unconditional release and the perpetrators of this evil act be fished out and prosecuted”.