Fourteen commuters abducted by gunmen at the Rumoji near Port-Harcourt in Rivers State while on a journey from Warri in Delta State.
The occurrence according to security sources happened on Monday caused serious tension among residents living in communities situated along the highway as the kidnappers continued to lay siege to the passengers including the bus driver.
Naija News learnt that hoodlums who were fully armed ambushed the bus and dragged all occupants into a nearby bush from where they were taken to an unknown destination.
According to Punch that the abductors have contacted the family of the victims and are demanding one million naira on each of the passengers before they could be released.
A source at the travelling company while confirming the incident said the gunmen had reduced the ransom to N100, 000 each for the travellers after the victims’ families told them they cannot raise the one million naira ransom the abductors were earlier demanding.
Giving accounts of the incident, one of the security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “The 14-seater bus was travelling to Port-Harcourt when heavily armed men waylaid the bus and kidnapped all occupants including the driver. They were travelling from one of their terminals in Warri axis.
“The incident happened on Monday and the bus is owned by one of these popular transport companies. It was a bit unbelievable until our sister security agency recovered the bus from where the incident happened around Ughelli/Port-Harcourt section of the road. The hoodlums have also contacted the families of the victim. Security has been beefed in the area.”
Another security source added, “Though the hoodlums are in contact with the bus company and have reduced the ransom for the release of the driver and the passengers to N100, 000, we and other sister security agencies are on the trail of the hoodlums and would do everything to ensure that the victims are released unhurt.”
A top official of the transport company confirmed the development to our correspondent on Thursday when The PUNCH visited their office in Effurun, Uvwie council area of the state.
The source also refused to link our correspondent to the owner of the transport company, added, “Do you want me to lose my job? I can’t give you my boss’ number. My Oga is doing everything possible to rescue the passengers.”
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Zanna Ibrahim, confirmed the incident but clarified that the incident occurred at Rumoji in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
Ibrahim added, “The incident actually happened in Rumoji in Port-Harcourt and not in Delta State. The passengers were from Delta to Port-Harcourt but the incident happened in Rumoji.