By Tony Tamuno
Fidelis Egberido was seized yesterday morning at Port Harcourt, the main base for companies operating in the oil-rich Niger Delta, Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the military task force in charge of security in the region, said by phone today. Egberido was taken after three gunmen burst into the home of a relative he was visiting, Musa said.
“The armed men announced to all in the house that they were militants who needed money to buy arms and ammunition and demanded a ransom of 7 million naira ($59,397) before they will free their victim,” Musa said.
Egberido was later rescued by a police patrol at Nchia- Eleme, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) east of Port Harcourt late yesterday, Musa said.
Attacks by armed groups in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s main oil-producing region, have cut more than 20 percent of the country’s crude exports since 2006. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the main militant group in the region, announced a cease-fire last month.
Precious Okolobo, a spokesman for Shell, confirmed that a member of staff had been rescued by the police. He wouldn’t provide further details.
Last Updated: November 17, 2008 07:51 EST