Group demands release of Rivers mourners kidnapped five months ago

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Dennis Naku, Port Harcourt

A socio-cultural organisation, the Bonny Gentlemen’s League, has expressed worry over the whereabouts of five men kidnapped during a burial at Banigo community, in the Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State, five months ago.

The group said nothing had been heard of their kinsmen since some masked armed men stormed the burial, shot continuously and whisked the five men to an unknown destination.

The league stated this in a communique issued at the end of its 41st annual convention, signed by its Chancellor, Squadron Leader Olam Allwell-Brown (rtd.), and made available to journalists in Port Harcourt.

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They noted with dismay that despite its strategic economic importance to the country, Bonny Island was faced with various security challenges, including banditry, militancy, and cult-related clashes along the Bonny-Port Harcourt sea route, where the activities of sea pirates had become worrisome.

The communiqué read, “The League therefore calls on the Federal Government to deploy necessary offensive platforms in men and equipment, including helicopter gunships along the Bonny-Port Harcourt marine corridor, to tackle the emerging threat to the residents of Bonny Kingdom and the operations of the IOCs, especially the upcoming NLNG Train 7 project.”

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While noting that Bonny was also host to Exxon-Mobil and Shell, which contribute major foreign exchange inflows into the nation’s economy on a daily basis, they said the Island was isolated and only accessible by boat.

“The League further calls on the Rivers State Government to, as a matter of  urgency, provide standard, safe and secure ferryboats with capacities of 50  passengers and above to ply the Bonny-Port Harcourt sea route and reduce the daily harrowing experience of passengers,’’ the group added.

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