Kidnapping: Oba of Benin place curses on culprits
The Oba of Benin, Oba Erediawa, worried by the spate of kidnappings, armed robbery and other vices in Benin and other parts of Edo, has directed traditional worshippers to curse those responsible for the crimes.
The traditional worshippers, Enigie, Igie-Ohen, Edionwere and others will gather at Urhokpota Ground in Benin to perform the rituals on June 10 and 12, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
This is just as professional and trade groups as well as residents of the industrial town of Nnewi in Anambra State have asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, to transfer all the policemen serving in Anambra State, to put an end to for kidnapping in the state.
A statement from the Oba‘s palace said the monarch had directed that a meeting should be held between the Iyase of Benin Chief Sam Igbe, and traditional worshippers.
The statement, signed by the Information Officer to the Benin Traditional Council, Mr. Robinson Osayamwem, was made available to NAN on Saturday in Benin.
It said that June 10 would be observed as day of prayers for men while June 12 would be for women.
“The monarch also requested that the Enigie, Igie-Ohen, Edionwere, market women and other traditional worshippers, should come with whatever they have to ensure that the evil doers are wiped away, for peace to reign in the state,” it added.
It said that after the state-wide ceremony to be carried out in Benin on Thursday and Saturday, the traditional worshippers were expected to do same in their various domains.
NAN reports that as a result of the resurgence of kidnapping and murder in Benin and other parts of Edo State in recent times, some groups had protested to the Oba’s Palace to complain.
Meanwhile, after a joint meeting of stakeholders attended by members of the Nigeria Medical Association, the Nigerian Bar Association, traders and other professional bodies residing in the town, the residents alleged that many policemen had been collaborating with kidnappers.
The stakeholders in Anambra State said that it was only policemen that were genuinely interested in fighting crime that should be posted to the state.
In a communiqué issued to newsmen on Sunday, they also reminded the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command, Mr. Philemon Leha, of his responsibility of protecting lives and property, saying that they would no longer accept a situation where about four people were kidnapped in Nnewi every day.
The communique was signed by Dr. E. C. Afiadigwe for the NMA; Chief Emmanuel Egbunonu for the NBA; and Chief Gozie Akudolu for the traders.
The communique reads, “The kidnappers are able to beat existing police checkpoints due to the fact that police concentrate more on commercial vehicles and motorcycle operators. We also observe that these policemen at checkpoints vanish once the commercial vehicles and motorcycles stop operating or once there is a report of a kidnap incident.
“Besides, no investigations are conducted after a kidnap incident, even when it has been properly documented; while the police ask for money before the victims’ belongings are released,” they stated in the communique.”
The communique also called on Governor Peter Obi to partner the police to properly organise and equip the local vigilance groups in the state.
With the tension in Nnewi, they said urgent action was needed by the IG to save the situation.
Residents of Nnewi had closed all business activities in the town last week and staged peaceful protests against kidnapping in the area.
This forced Obi to Nnewi, where he held the weekly State Security Council meeting on Wednesday; during which measures to curb kidnapping in the area were adopted.
Obi had reiterated his administration’s resolve to hold traditional rulers and presidents – general of the various town unions responsible for kidnapping incidents in their areas, since it had been ascertained that many cases of kidnapping had an insider involvement.