The House of Representatives has urged the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Air Staff, Isiaka Amao, and other security agencies to deploy their personnel to comb of the entire Lilu, Azia, Orsumoghu, and Mbosi communities in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The operation, the House stated, is in order to “move into and dislodge the camps housing hundreds of kidnap victims, and without delay, rescue the victims, including Mr. Steady Idisi and Emmanuel Ifie.”
The House also mandated its Committee on Police Affairs, Army and Air Force and other relevant committees to ensure compliance thereof and report back within two weeks for further legislative action.
The resolutions were sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by a member, Ben Igbakpa, titled ‘Matter of urgent national importance on the need to address the spate of insecurity and abduction of innocent citizens of Nigeria and for the immediate release of kidnapped victims including Rotarian Steady Idisi and Emmanuel Ifie.’
Moving the motion, Igbakpa regretted “the increasing spate of kidnapping and banditry, which has rendered our nation inhabitable for both citizens and foreigners alike.”
He recalled that on February 20, 2022, Idisi, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Lonestar Drilling Company Limited, President of Steady Run Club and a notable Rotarian; and his friend, Ifie, were kidnapped at Orsumoghu in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“Up until date, their whereabouts remain unknown,” he noted.
Igbakpa further recalled that Idisi, on the said date, checked out of his hotel room in Asaba, in company with his friend, Ifie, and proceeded on their journey back to Port Harcourt.
“They encountered gunmen suspected to be IPOB militants at Orsumoghu in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State,” the lawmaker added.
He said, “The House is concerned that a well-known Nnewi businessman, Chief Gab Ofoma, was on February 20, 2022, killed along the same road by men suspected to be members of the same gang of unknown gunmen terrorising the area.
“The House is worried that several efforts made to locate Mr. Steady Idisi and Emmanuel Ifie have so far proved abortive, as their whereabouts is still uncertain, and the victims may be held in captivity in a camp deep in the Orsumoghu Forest where, by the account of an escapee, there is electricity, generators, SUVs and it is like a city of its own, where evil reigns.
“By the same account, over 100 persons are held captive in that camp and are killed intermittently at the pleasure of the bandits.
“The House is further worried that a situation where non-state actors rule over and dictate the conduct of citizens in a democratic country has been foisted on us. It is unacceptable and must be stopped by legitimate agents of the state entrusted with the security of lives and properties.”
Igbakpa noted that a “properly coordinated and concerted inter-agency intelligence-driven effort” by the Police, Army and other security agencies in the form of a joint operation to “continually raid the entire area, as was done in the past,” is critical to address the menace and in order to dislodge the bandits and rescue their victims.