The Obong of Calabar, Ekpo Abasi-Otu V, on Saturday urged the Police in Cross River State to assist in finding those behind the kidnapping of Igbo traders in the state.
He also described the development as an ‘ugly trend.’
The monarch stated this in Calabar when the leadership of Igbo community in the state paid him a courtesy visit in his palace to complain about the situation.
He added that the state known for its peaceful and hospitality nature cannot afford to harbour kidnappers, hence the need for security agencies in the state to curb the ugly trend.
“In the last three months, it looks as if a particular set of kidnappers have targeted the Igbo to carry out their ugly business.
“As a king of the Efik Kingdom, I cannot fold my hands and watch this unfortunate situation to continue. We must look at this issue critically and find a way of curtailing it. These kidnappers are not ghosts, they live among us and we must fish them out to the security agencies,’’ he said.
Speaking, Vice President of the Igbo community in the state, Mr. Rufus Eze, maintained that 80 per cent of kidnapped victims in the state were Igbo traders.
Eze said, “It has become worrisome that the Igbo are the target of the kidnappers. When they kidnap, they will make family members of their victim to go and borrow money, sell his or her belongings to pay ransom. We are appealing to the state government, traditional and religious leaders to help us. We came here to do business and not to be kidnapped and forced to pay ransom.’’ (Punch)