Gunmen have kidnapped a traditional ruler and Chairman of the Abissa Council of Chiefs in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, High Chief Matthew Opoto.
It was gathered that High Chief Opoto was abducted on his way to his community in the Abissa waterway by a group of gunmen driving in a speed boat.
The gunmen intercepted the boat carrying Opoto and some of his council of chiefs on Friday, August 19, dragged him out into one of their boat and sped off.
A native of the area, Minaibiye Dolphin, who confirmed the incident on Monday, August 22, in Port Harcourt, said that the traditional ruler was a few minutes to his destination when the gunmen struck.
“The chairman of Abissa council of chiefs, High Chief Mathew Opito, was travelling with some of his chiefs and about five minutes to arrive the community, when gunmen came in a speed boat, identified him and took him away,” Dolphin said.
“We have no information about him. The entire community is worried, the chiefs, elders, youths and women, everybody is worried because there is no information about him until now.”
“We are appealing and calling on the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike, the police, Army, the NNS Pathfinder, and other security agencies help secure his release. There is no information as to why they kidnapped him since we are not able to get in contact with the kidnappers.” he added.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, who confirmed the incident on Monday, said efforts are ongoing to rescue the monarch.
“Yes, we are aware. We are making frantic efforts to ensure his early release as well as to apprehend the abductors,” the PPRO said.