Hunter loses life while pursuing kidnappers at Igarra Forest

By DADA AYOKHAI

A hunter, Suru Abanta from Igarra, the headquarters of Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State was on Tuesday shot dead by suspected kidnapers while himself, his colleagues and other members of the local vigilante group were combing the large stretch of forest around Igarra and neighbouring communities for kidnapers and to rescue their victims.

There has been a resurgence of kidnapping in the area with the recent being the kidnapping of five people within two days along Farm Road in Igarra and one of them was released after an undisclosed ransom was paid.

A member of the vigilante group who witnessed the killing while narrating the incident said. “We divided ourselves into two groups and went in different directions but unknown to us, the kidnappers had sighted us so while we were trying to take position, they shot him and they were trying to round us up but our colleagues who heard the gunshot started running to our direction and that was how the kidnappers ran away in panic. We later got to their camp where we saw some items including a phone without battery, sim card and other cooked and raw food.”

On the arrested suspect, he said “The man disguised as if he was waiting for a commercial vehicle along the Igarra – Ibillo road where he was caught and he has been handed over to the police”

The state government while reacting to the state of security in the state said it was training members of the vigilante group to strengthen security in the state.

The Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare said “As we speak, the Edo State government is training over 1,500 people for the vigilante assignment. Few weeks ago, we did six local government areas and we did at the Mobile Police Training School at Ogida barracks which Edo State government renovated and fixed with the same qualities as Edo State buildings, we are getting their biometrics, we are reconditioning them to think like law enforcement agencies and they are to protect the lives of Edo people, our state is more secured and these are being done by these men, they are part of the security arrangement and we are very proud of them because we want Edo to be one of the safest states in the country and we will continue to retraining these volunteers.”

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