Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have reportedly abducted the immediate past transition committee chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, Chief Friday Akpoyibo, along two others.
Sources close to Akpoyibo told journalists on Monday in Ughelli that Akpoyibo and two others were kidnapped along Auchi-Abuja road on Sunday on their way to Abuja.
A younger brother and another close ally of Akpoyibo who was traveling with him were also abducted by the arms-wielding herdsmen who allegedly blocked the expressway with their cattle.
However, a female passenger who was said to have been traveling with the victims was left behind by the abductors.
Akpoyibo’s ex-aide who spoke under strict condition of anonymity said, “He was going to Abuja to attend the inauguration of the recently appointed executives of the Niger Delta River Basin Development Authority when the hoodlums struck.
“They were taken into the bush after being disposed of their personal items.”
Akpoyibo is a younger brother to retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo.
When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said he has not been informed of the incident.
But the Commissioner of Police, CP Zannah Ibrahim, confirmed the abduction in a text message.
The text reads, “Chief Friday Akpoyibo was kidnapped yesterday evening (Sunday) in Auchi area, on his way to Abuja…”
In a related development, gunmen on Sunday attacked a car belonging to a leader of the Central Working Committee of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Dr. Alfred Mulade.
The gunmen trailed the car to the point where it was reportedly snatched from Mulade’s friend, who is also a member of PANDEF, Mr. Vincent Oyibode.
Mulade, who confirmed the incident on Monday, said the incident occurred along the Udu Expressway in Udu council area of the state.
Telephone gadgets, ATM cards and unspecified amount of money were also carted away by the gunmen from Mr. Oyibode, who is also the Secretary of Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, at gun point.