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3 Shell workers abducted in Delta

Vanguard

Written by ANAYO OKOLI & EMMA ARUBI
Sunday, 02 November 2008

THREE staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, were, yesterday, at Uzere, Isoko South Local Council Area of Delta State, kidnapped, just as the community is demanding N150million from the oil giant. Though SPDC spokesman, Mr. Obari, refused to pick up his calls, Sunday Vanguard authoritatively gathered that the staff were abducted at a well head where they had gone to carry out an inspection. It was further gathered that the hostages are contract staffers of  the SPDC.  SPDC had carried out a joint investigation visit, JIV, to the community a few days ago, an incident indicating that all is not well with their working relationship.

It was learnt that the abduction of the oil giant staff by the community youths was to ginger SPDC to respond to their demand for monetary compensation to the tune of N150 million. The member representing the area in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Erijo, and a former sport commissioner in the state, Hon. Solomon Ogba, confirmed the abduction. At the time of filing this report, details of the disagreement between the Uzere community and SPDC were still sketchy.

Meanwhile, former speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Nkem Ike, has decried rampant cases of kidnapping in the state which he blamed on government and security agencies. Ike, therefore, wants the government to step up security in the state to checkmate the menace. Describing it as “unfortunate,” Ike expressed worry that kidnapping had been on the increase despite many police checkpoints mounted kilometres apart, across the state.

He reminded the state government that one of its major constitutional responsibilities is to provide security for the people, and called on the government to tackle the menace of kidnapping head on. The former speaker, who also attributed the menace to poverty, urged Governor Theodore Orji to create job opportunities for youths.

“It is unfortunate that kidnapping has become rampant in the state. I was a victim sometime ago but people said it was a farce. I have been kidnapped. It is unfortunate. Government really needs to step up security. In the constitution, one of the major responsibilities of government is security of the people. The police, the SSS and the government are there with check points every where, yet they can’t arrest one person. I think the government is not really serious on this issue. The government should do a lot to fight poverty. The level of poverty in the state is killing. The government is not doing enough in poverty eradication”, the former speaker noted.

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