Outrage over kidnapping of prominent Igbos has reached a crescendo in Cross River State.
As at the least count, Igbo Unity Forum (IUF) complained that at least 35 business men of Igbo extraction have been kidnapped by gunmen over the last one year.
Consequently, the Igbo community in Cross River State has decided to close shop.
The community comprised of traders and artisans.
They are set to close shop for two days to protest the rampant kidnap of Igbos doing business in the state.
Operating under the aegis of Igbo Unity Forum (IUF), they are complaining that at least 35 business men of Igbo extraction have been kidnapped by gunmen over the last one year, and t
They also alleged that they have been forced to cough out hundreds of millions of naira to pay as ransom to free the abducted.
The coordinator of IUF, Mazi Okechukwu Ebubedike at a press briefing on Sunday in Calabar, said a date for all Igbo business men and women will be chosen.
The protest will take place in Calabar metropolis and its environs.
According to Mazi Ebubedike, most of the victims pay between N5 million and N30 million as ransom after injuries might have been inflicted on them.
He said: “We have been made victims of kidnapping in the state in the last one year and made to pay dearly as ransom to these hoodlums in the last couple of months.
“Unfortunately, nobody cares about our plight at this excruciating circumstance.
“I can tell you that Igbo traders and businessmen who are victims of these hoodlums have been paying hundreds of millions as ransom to secure their freedom.
“And, in protest against this ugly trend, we are embarking on protest by closing our shops and other business outlets for two days.
“We have, therefore, directed all shops owned by Igbo should be closed on a day to be announced to attract attention and to see how this security lapse can be tackled.
“We will enforce the closure to press home our demand to stop the kidnapping.
“We have been made targets of kidnappers. We are now preys in the hands of criminals and everybody seems not to bother because it is Igbo.
“But, we will resist it because we are here to do business and assist in developing the state sincerely.
So, we can no longer fold our hands and watch our people being used as money-minting machine by kidnappers,” he stated.
Recently, two Senators of the National Assembly were engaged in war of words over kidnapping.
Elombah.com had reported on Monday, 9 May, that Senator Theodore Orji accused Senator Godswill Akpabio of institutionalising kidnapping for ransom in Nigeria.
Senators Orji and Akpabio are the immediate past governors of Abia and Akwa Ibom States respectively.
Orji asked the Senate Minority Leader Akpabio to own up his role in the emergence of kidnapping for ransom.
The statement was issued on Sunday by Senator Theodore Orji in a statement signed by his media adviser, Mr. Don Norman Obinna.
He said that the former governor of Akwa Ibom state could never run away from his shadow given the ignominious role he played in making kidnapping to take root in the Nigeria.
Akpabio had said that the heinous crime of kidnapping was pioneered in Abia State during the administration of Senator Orji.
© Copyright 2015 www.elombah.com. Send eyewitness accounts/reports/articles to firstname.lastname@example.org; follow us on twitter handle @Elombah; like our Facebook page: “Elombah.com”