FOUR senior officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have been kidnapped while on official duty in Abua-Odual Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State on Tuesday.
The victims, a woman and four men, had reportedly concluded their assignment in various parts of the local government area and were on their way back when they were attacked.
According to PR Nigeria, one of them managed to escape the attackers by pretending he was dead having been shot in the leg. He is currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
The NEMA officials were sent to determine the number of farmers that were affected in the recent violent crises and flood incidents that occurred in parts of Rivers State so as to know how relief materials would be distributed to the affected persons.
Persons captured in the enumeration programme would be eligible to benefit from the National Emergency Agricultural Intervention Fund under the National Food Security Programme of the federal government.
“The abducted officers travelled in a NEMA Hilux van, which was not in good condition and even broke down several times on their way. It was a personal car of one of the NEMA staff that came to their rescue to continue the journey before the incident,” the security source was quoted as saying.
Speaking with The ICIR on Thursday, NEMA spokesperson, Sanni Datti, confirmed that some officials of the agency were kidnapped, but he refused to give further details, saying the management of the agency is on top of the situation.
“It is true that our staff were kidnapped but you know it’s a security issue so we cannot say anything now because the kidnappers also have access to the media. But I can assure you that our management is on top of the situation,” Datti said.
Insecurity is high in various parts of Rivers State especially the rural riverine areas where militants operate almost freely.