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News Analysis: Child Kidnappers Imo Now Abduct Babies From Parents At Gun Point


By Ignatius Okpara

Parents in Imo state are now living in perpetual fear, because of the alarming rate of child kidnapping in various parts of the state.

The ugly situation, has also made them, especially (mothers) to now go to sleep with one eye open for fear of uncertainty.

Only last week, Umuzike Autonomous Community in Orlu Local Government Area of the State was thrown into another confusion as a five-month-old baby girl was snatched from her mother at gun point in front of their house by unknown heavily armed men.

The ugly incident came few days after the mother of the former vice chancellor (VC) of the Imo State University, Prof. Innocent Okonkwo, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

Identified as Chidiogo, the little baby is the daughter of Mr and Mrs. Kingsley  Ugochi Igwegbe of Umuezike community.

African Examiner gathered that the woman was returning from a neighbourhood where she had gone to buy kerosene around 7.00pm before the three baby thieves accosted her and snatched away her baby.

Mrs. Ugochi, was said to have resisted the hoodlums initially, as she held on to her baby, and kept on shouting to attract attention of the neighbours before she was shot twice on the laps by the gun men.

Our correspondent recalled that penultimate week, similar ugly incident took place at Durukwu Umuebele in Okporo also in Orlu Local government area, where a little baby was snatched from its father, Mr. Ebere Chikodi,  who was equally shot by the abductors before escaping with the baby.

While one of the victims’ mothers is still at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, receiving treatment, there had been no trace of the stolen babies.

The ugly situation has no doubt, sent fears down the spines of nursing mothers who do not know when and who would be the next victim.

However, suffice it to say that the incidence of child stealing is not new in the state, as It would be recalled that some time late last year, precisely in December, Ikechukwu, a pupil of St. Patrick’s International Primary School, Umuezeala–Owerre in Ehime Mbano council area of the state was kidnapped on his way to school.

The little boy was later found in Port Hacourt, after several months, just as Chinedu, a three year-old pupil of the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM) was abducted at his school gate recently.

As the unfortunate development continues unabated in Imo, which pride it self as the Heart land state, there is the urgent need for law enforcement agents in the area to rise up to their responsibilities, especially the police, so as to curb the menace.

On the part of government, the Governor Rochas Okorocha led All Progress Congress APC administration should take the bull by the horn, by re-doubling its support and empowerment of the local vigilante security outfits across the state.

Reason being that citizens of the state say they believe so much in the local security arrangement, which according them, has done well and really lived up to expectation since inception.

Meanwhile, efforts by African Examiner to speak with the Imo state police public Relations officer,(PPRO), Mrs. Joy Elemoko, on the issue hit the rock, as she did not take the several calls put across to her mobile phone.


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