As Rivers State continues to battle with security issues, unknown gunmen have again hijacked a commercial bus belonging to a popular transport company (name withheld) along the Emohua axis of the East-West Road in Rivers State and abducted all the 16 passengers on board including the driver of the vehicle.
The gunmen had on Monday morning blocked the road and opened fire on the bus as it approached the area, forcing the driver of the commercial vehicle to stop while the suspected kidnappers rounded up all the occupants and took them to an unknown destination.
An eye witness account revealed that the gunmen shot sporadically as the bus approached the blockage believed to have been erected by them and led the 16 passengers including the driver of the bus into the bush.
According to the source, some of the suspected kidnappers shot directly at the bus, while other members of the gang stood by the roadside.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State police command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, confirming the incident, said the command was currently analysing the information it had received from eye-witnesses.
He stated that concerted efforts were already on to apprehend the hoodlums and appealed to members of the public to be vigilant and assist the police or other security agencies with useful information on any suspicious movement around the area.
The police image maker in the state said that the ill-fated bus, riddled with bullets, was seen abandoned by the road side.
He added that a combined team of security operatives, including the Mobile Police, Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism Unit, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, and the Niger Delta task force, Operation Restore Hope, have been deployed into the dreaded forest bordering Emohua and Ikwerre Local Government Areas to rescue the victims.
DSP Nnamdi Omoni stated that the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, would soon make a public statement after he has been fully briefed on the abduction of the passengers.