Unknown gunmen suspected to be unrepentant Niger Delta militants have abducted three Dutch nationals in Letugbene, Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
It was also gathered that the whereabouts of two Nigerians who accompanied the Dutch nationals were unknown.
Sources said the three Dutch nationals, two males and a female, were abducted on Sunday at about 4:30pm.They were said to have been kidnapped after a visit to the palace of the traditional ruler of Iduwuni Kingdom, HRM. King Joel Ibane.
The gunmen who were said to be riding on a speedboat, shot sporadically with their AK-47 rifles before seizing their victims.
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide condemned the abduction describing it as a barbaric act.
IYC in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, said the kidnap was an act of a few criminals which he said was against the collective aspirations of the Niger Delta people.
“It is unfortunate that criminal elements could kidnap foreigners who were on a charity mission on the invitation of the Dodo River Communities of Bayelsa State and facilitated by Netherland based Niger Delta Activist, Mr. Sunny Ofeghe”, he said.
Omare noted that the incident was a clear case of criminality and had nothing to do with the agitation of Niger Delta.
He said preliminary investigations by IYC showed that the kidnappers could have from the Ekeremor and the Southern Ijaw local government areas.
Omare added that IYC had contacted the traditional rulers, community leaders and other Ijaw leaders in Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw in its efforts to ensure the immediate release of the victims.
He said: “They must ensure that every home, family and community in those local government areas are combed to ensure the immediate release of the three Dutch nationals, one of whom is said to be asthmatic.
“The IYC working with Nigerian security agencies want to assure the families of the Dutch Nationals and the Dutch Government that the kidnapped victims would regain their freedom as soon as possible.
“This unfortunate incident does not represent the character of the Niger Delta people. Niger Deltans are law abiding and hospitable people.
The IYC would ensure that the kidnappers are brought to justice to serve as deterrent to others.
“We once again call for the strict implementation of the Anti-Kidnapping laws of Bayelsa and Delta States which prescribed death penalty for kidnappers. This is the only way kidnappers would be deterred and arrest the increasing tide of kidnapping in the Niger Delta region