Gov. Wike Endorses Operation Crocodile Smile
The abductors of 14 oil workers who were kidnapped in Rivers state over the weekend have demanded the sum of N100 million to release their victims.
Punch reports that some family members of the oil workers confirmed that they had been contacted by the kidnappers who asked them to make the sum available if they desired to see their loved ones freed.
The 14 oil workers were abducted by gunmen who hijacked a Toyota Coaster bus in which they were travelling from Omoku to Port-Harcourt in Rivers state last Friday.
The 14 oil workers are all employees of Nestoil Plc and were travelling without security escort at the time of the incident.
“Yes, they spoke with one of the family members of their victims and they are demanding N100m for the release of the 14 oil workers.
“We also learnt that the kidnappers had put calls across to some people in authority to make the money available so that the oil workers could be released,” a family source said.
Meanwhile, the Rivers state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, has declared his support for ongoing military operations against militants in the Niger Delta area tagged ‘Operation Crocodile Smile.’
Governor Wike while receiving the chief of army staff, Gen Tukur Buratai, and other senior military officials at the Government House in Port-Harcourt said:
“The Rivers State Government is fully in support of the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile.’ I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make the Niger Delta safer.
“One of the advantages of the programme is that hoodlums in the creeks are being uprooted for a safer Niger Delta. I support the programme in so far as it is done with the constitution.
“Rivers State Government will sustain its support for security agencies to create the right atmosphere for democratic governance.”
The governor added that the state government had procured six new armoured personnel carriers for the police and was currently in the process of concluding the acquisition of 10 gunboats for the Nigerian Navy.
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