The Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday blamed the Army for the incessant kidnapping cases in Isuochi in the Umenneochi Local Government Area of Abia State and its environs.
There have been a series of reports of kidnapping by alleged Fulani herdsmen in Isuochi, Uturu, Amaeze in Ebonyi boundary communities.
Recently, the management of Abia State University, Uturu had to shut down the school and asked students to go home till further notice following incessant cases of abduction of students by terrorists suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
Recently, a middle-aged man in the community was almost killed when an eight-man gang of kidnappers identified as Fulani herdsmen invaded his farm plantation and macheted him when he could not provide a ransom of N30 million.
The gang was reportedly operating from Garrik cattle market in Isuochi, Abia State.
The kidnapping reached its climax on Sunday, May 29, 2022, when the Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Uche, his Chaplin and a bishop were abducted for ransom along Enugu-Okigwe – Port-Harcourt Federal Road.
They were later released on Monday evening after a ransom of N100 million was paid to the abductors whom the Prelate described as Fulani herdsmen.
The cleric, however, accused soldiers of working with the criminals who abducted him.
His abduction, however, sparked a protest on Wednesday as Isuochi youths took to the streets and blocked the Enugu – Port-Harcourt Federal Highway for hours, demanding an immediate end to Fulani kidnapping in the area.
The angry youths also demanded the immediate relocation of Garrik cattle market in the area, saying it was being used to harbour kidnappers.
Addressing the irate youths, who blocked vehicular movement on the ever-busy highway, the Commander Police Rapid Squad, Abia State Police Command, CSP Jonhbull, described the situation in the area as painful.
He, however, the Nigerian Army for the abductions that were going on.
He said, “My Name is CSP Johnbull, Commander Rapid Squad, Abia State Police Command. I was sent here by the commissioner of police two days ago to come and assist the people of Isuochi to do away with all these kidnappers – the Fulanis who are kidnapping our people.
“Our people that are coming home, they are kidnapping them. We are not happy about it. Yesterday night, I sent my men to inspect the cattle market. They go there to spend money after kidnapping our people, they will collect ransom they will go and spend it there. The Army are (sic) not helping us.”