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Wave of Abductions Mars New Year Celebrations in Cross River State



As the clock struck midnight, ushering in the promises of a new year, many residents of Cross River State found themselves gripped by fear and uncertainty as a wave of abductions unfolded on New Year’s Eve.

The incident occurred around 3 pm on Sunday, December 31, 2023, at Nde 3 Corners in the Ikom local government area of the state, a somber and alarming end to the year. This marks the second such occurrence in the same location, echoing a similar incident on December 23, 2023, along the Enugu – Makurdi Federal Road in Otukpa, Benue State.

Despite the presence of multiple military and police checkpoints in the area, travellers, including families gearing up for New Year celebrations, fell victim to the ambush. This unfortunate incident echoes a previous kidnapping case in December involving the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikom local government area, Mr Mathew Egomo, and his son Dickson.

The community, disheartened by the recurrent kidnapping cases, has taken matters into its own hands, mobilizing to address the bad spots on the road and enhance security measures. According to residents, the attackers, suspected to be herdsmen, emerge suddenly from nearby forests, targeting vehicles and dragging victims into the wilderness.

This New Year’s Eve abduction brings the tally to four kidnapping incidents in the last month within the Nde 3-corners by Akparabong junction, further underscoring the pervasive security challenges in the region.

Lamenting the situation, Tony Etim, a resident, recounted a previous incident on December 28, where kidnappers shot a child dead and abducted a man and a woman at Nde 3 Corners, Ikom Local Government Area. Notably, this followed an attack on Christmas Day where gunmen killed one person, kidnapped four, and injured several others in the same spot.

See also  Kidnappers Open Fire On Abuja City Highway, Abduct Man Driving Home With Wife

Residents allege that the perpetrators, believed to be herdsmen, reside in nearby forests around the community and a trailer park in the village. Despite the heavy presence of armed policemen along the road, the brazen kidnappings continue unabated, with the criminals even engaging security agents in gun battles.

As security forces intensify efforts to address the escalating situation, residents remain on edge, grappling with the grim reality that the dawn of the new year brought not only hope but also renewed fears of insecurity and vulnerability. The community’s resilience is tested as they navigate the complex challenges that threaten their safety and well-being.

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