By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
Special security outfit of the Cross River state government, Operation Akpakwu, has rescued an 83-year-old traditional ruler in Calabar South local government area of the state, Sylvester Bassey Iyamba, who was kidnapped on Monday night.
Our reporter gathered that the monarch was kidnapped in his residence located at Idang/Ambo Street in Calabar South local government at about 7pm by heavily armed men who cordoned off the entire area and shot sporadically to scare residents.
The victim, it was further learnt, was taken away in a vehicle to a creek but the kidnappers could not ferry him across to their hideout because of the low tide which could not carry their boat afloat
An eye witness, who preferred anonymity, said as soon as the man was taken away, youths of the area mobilised and chased the kidnappers with the backing of men of Operation Akpakwu. They rescued the victim in the creek while his abductors escaped.
He said, “The victim was rescued this morning, Tuesday when our youths and the security operatives invaded the creek. We were told that one of them was shot in the leg and his colleagues took him away and abandoned the victim.
“The monarch is a lucky fellow, assuming the water was full in the creek, he would have been shifted to other side. Our youths said they had seen the place where the kidnappers built their houses in the other side of the creeks.”
When contacted, the deputy spokesman for the state police command, Igiri Ewa, said “It is true that HRH was kidnapped yesterday, Monday but was rescued this early part of the morning (Tuesday) by a joint team of the security operatives, Operation Akpakwu.
“The team went there when distress call was made to them, they cordoned off the area and as the result of the pressure, the abductors took their wounded colleagues and ran away and left the victim. However, the abductors escaped.”