Police Arrest Nine Suspected Kidnappers, Bag Snatchers In Aba

Six suspended kidnappers and three bag snatchers and shoplifters were on Monday arrested by a combined team involving the Inspector General’s Intelligence Response Team in Aba, Abia State.

Commissioner of Police in the State, Anthony Ogbizi, while parading the suspects at the command headquarters in Umuahia said that there was no life lost either of the suspects or the police during the gun duel with the kidnappers although the suspects sustained gunshot wounds.

One of the suspect, Mr Sylvester Prince while speaking with journalists claimed that he was not involved in the kidnapping but only collected money from the gang for hiring his bus for their operations.

“I am not among the kidnappers, I swear, I only lend my bus to the gang which they normally use for their operations, all I can say is that they have used the bus two times. The first time, they gave me N50,000 and the second time, I received N400,000 which I used to pay my debts. I am not a kidnapper, the gang used my bus for their operations and pay me after their business,” he claimed.

Three other suspects arrested and paraded for robbery and burglary include Samson Tochi, Joseph Sunday and Osondu Nwagboso all between the ages 21 and 22 respectively.

They were arrested for shop looting, snatching handbags, money and mobile phones from unsuspecting members of the public who were at the command headquarters to testify against them.

Ogbizi said the command has beefed up security network in the state and therefore it will be difficult for the gang and other criminals to escape.

“The suspects paraded here were engaged in a gun battle by a combined team and Inspector General’s Intelligence Response Team in their bungalow at the World Bank housing estate in Aba,” Ogbizi said.

He also called for cooperation of the members of the public to assist the police by supplying information on happening within their vicinity and report immediately any suspicious character.

Ikpeazu Assures Aba Shoe Producers of Govt. Support

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has assured Aba shoe manufacturers, known as Omenka Shoemakers, that government will not allow the entrance of the Chinese in the business to disrupt their interests.

The assurance was given in a statement in Aba on Wednesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Enyinnaya Appolos.

According to Appolos, the meeting held at the Governor’s lodge in Aba was convened to brief Aba shoemakers on the gains of having Chinese investors in the Aba shoe industry.

The governor also challenged the representatives of the 14 clusters to leverage on the coming of the Chinese to improve on their skills and learn new ways of doing business.

Ikpeazu further warned that the government would do everything to counter attempts to frustrate its efforts to attract foreign investment to the state.

The governor said he invited them to for abrief on his recent trip to China and commended them for retaining their place in the Nigerian leather and garment industry.

“I promised when I was campaigning to be governor in 2015 that I will promote made-in-Aba goods. I have been doing that and I am ready to take it a notch higher to `make in Aba’.”

“When I went to China, I met with a major investor in the shoe industry who indicated interest in investing 1.5 billion dollars in our economy.

“The investor, Mr. Zhang Huarong of Huajian Shoe Factory Guangdong, China, visited Abia State last Sunday and I took him to some industrial locations within Aba, where we think he can site his industry.

“As those in the business, I must brief you and also assure you that his coming will not in any way affect your business negatively.

“As your brother and your governor, it is my duty to protect your interest and that I must do. But let me also challenge you to take advantage of his coming to improve and upgrade your processes and systems in the industry.

“This government will do everything to protect your business interest and also do everything to thwart any plan to frustrate foreign investment into the state”, Ikpeazu warned.

The governor told them that 100 shoemakers from Aba would be going to China any moment for further training in modern shoemaking that would impact positively on their output and quality.

Responding, Chairman of the Omenka Shoemakers, Aba, Mr. Okechukwu Williams, thanked the governor for finding time to brief them, and also for dousing their fears over the Chinese investors.

He said that they had thought the entrance of the Chinese would take away their businesses from them.

He thanked the governor for promoting their products “vigorously in an unprecedented way never seen in any regime” since they started producing shoes.

Williams also promised to take advantage of the coming of the Chinese investors to improve on their business processes and systems with a view to competing favorably.

They pleaded with the governor to ensure that only members of the Omenka shoemakers in Aba would make the list of 100 persons to China for further training

NAN

We’ll Continue To Patronize Made-in-Aba Materials, Buratai Assures Ikpeazu

The Chief of Army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Burutail, has assured the Governor of Abia State that the  Nigeria military will continue to patronise made in Aba materials, including uniforms and boots.

General Buratai gave the assurance when he led a delegation of High ranking military officers on a courtesy visit to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at the Government house, Umuahia.

According to him, the military has directed their suppliers to emphasize on made in Nigeria, stressing that the patronage was motivated by the Governor’s letter he received months ago.

He thanked the Governor for the excellent relationship existing between the Army and the good people of Abia State.

buratai-and-ikpeazu1

The army boss said that he is in Abia to assess the progress of the “operation python dance” which the Military launched to mark her end of the year training activities.

He also assured his host and the people of Abia State that “Operation Python Dance” is a peaceful engagement that builds synergy between the army and other security agencies.

The army chief emphasized that the army is not out to intimidate or harass anybody, stressing that Nigerian army and other security services belong to the Nigerian people, and promised that the army will  not intimidate law abiding citizen, adding that  the security of law abiding Nigerians is the primary concern of the army.

General Burutai who is visiting the state for the first time since his appointment stated that the Nigerian Army has succeeded in maintaining peace in the country as well as defending Nigerian territories against external aggression.

Responding, Governor Ikpeazu thanked the military for their support to his administration’s push to boost patronage of made in Aba products.  He observed that the Leadership of the Army under Lt General Buratai, has performed well in internal security operations, especially in the volatile north east region of the country.

Governor Ikpeazu also told his guest that he believes his visit to Abia will further boost the morale of soldiers and other residents of Abia state.
Governor Ikpeazu further  cautioned Nigerians to respect one another regardless of the position they find themselves.

The high point of the courtesy visit was the donation of 2 new Hilux vehicles to the Military Chief by the Governor, which was eventually handed over to Brig. Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu of the 14 brigade barrack at Ohafia, Abia State by the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen. Buratai.  Brigadier General Fejokwu assured that the vehicles will be utilized for the benefit of good people of Abia.