Ijaw Youths Kidnap Four Oil Workers
10 Aug 2006
Author: Ahamefula Ogbu And Crusoe Osagie
Four oil workers, two Norwegians and two Ukranians employed by Peak Petroleum Nigeria Limited were yesterday kidnapped by suspected Ijaw militants in Ekeremo Local Government area of Bayelsa State.
The hostages were taken around 6 am Nigerian time by unknown youths who allegely stormed the company, subdued the security men and whisked away the expatriates to an unknown destination.
Information available said some communities in Ekremro who are miffed over refusal of the company to implement some Memorandun of Understanding they entered into accounted for the spate of kidnaps which is nearing eight incidences.
Another source however blamed the kidnaps on some areas which felt left out in the scheme of settlements entered into between them and the oil commuinities.
The latest kidnap has already been confirmned by the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Hafiz Ringim who explained that the four hostages incuded a captain, a Chief Engineer, Second Chief Engineer and a Chief Officer whose names were not available at press time.
He said they were kidnapped 28 nautical miles offshore over the sidelining of the youths in a recent MOU, adding that the whole issue bordered on recognition. He however said his men have beendeployed to the area to handle the matter.
Already, a group called "Bayelsa Patriotic Front" has expressed worry over the continued cases of abduction despite their interventions to stem the ugly incidents.
Head of the group, Mr. Igoriba Williams who briefed newsmen regretted that hostage taking has now become an everday issue which he condemned in strong terms as Ijaws do not believe in the practice.
He however asked the federal government and the oil companies to be more responsive to the welfare of host commuities as a way of pushng down the hostage taking incidences