NEW YEAR TRAGEDY: Suspected Herdsmen Kidnap Passengers In Ikom, Demand N100 Million To Free Assemblies of God Pastor, Rev. Joel Okey

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Kidnappers suspected to be herdsmen reportedly abducted an unspecified number of passengers said to have been travelling for the New Year Celebration at Nde 3 Corners, Ikom local government area of Cross River State.

The incident took place about 3 pm Sunday, December 31, 2023, at the same spot where the Chapter Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ikom local government, Mr. Mathew Egomo and Son Dickson were abducted early in the month.

The fresh abduction came just as kidnappers are demanding a ransom of N100 Million for the release of an Assemblies of God Pastor, Reverend Joel Okey.

The new year adduction brings to four the number of kidnapping operations at the same spot within one month.

Sources said the kidnappers engaged the security agents in a gun battle at Nde 3- corners by Akparabong junction.

Once they caught, sources said the kidnappers drove them into the access road leading to Akparabong from Nde 3 Corners.

Though no life was lost during the gun duel some passersby were reportedly shot in the crossfire and the victims who were taken hostage driven to an unknown destination.

Reverend Okey was kidnapped at Nde 3 Corners Ikom local government area of Ikom, Cross River State December 29, 2023.

The cleric who is serving in one of the church branches in Obubra local government area was on his way to Obudu via Ikom when he was abducted by his captors.

The Reverend was among those taken by gunmen since Thursday, but his identity was not known until Saturday when his abductors demanded ransom from his family.

Nde 3 Corners has become notorious as a den of kidnappers for some weeks now as the various incidents took place at a particular spot.

Residents of the area told The Southern Examiner that the community had mobilized to fix the bad spot on the road to allow for free flow of traffic once it was realized kidnappers had turned it into a hideout to rob and kidnap innocent people.

Community sources claimed that the kidnappers were herdsmen because they did not come with vehicles but suddenly emerged from the bush and shot at any vehicle at sight and dragged the victims into the nearby forests.

In fact, indigenes of Nde alleged that the hoodlums carrying out the attacks are herdsmen living in nearby forests around the community and a trailer park in the village.

Last December 28, kidnappers at Nde 3 Corners, Ikom Local Government Area had abducted a man and a woman, shooting dead a child in the process.

Thursday’s incident is barely three days after, gunmen at the same spot on Christmas day killed one Akpang Ayambem, abducted four others and wounded several indigenes of the area, which is also the home of the speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Ernest Ayambem.
The frightened indigenes narrated that despite the heavy presence of armed policemen along the road, the kidnappers engaged the security agents in a gun battle at Nde 3- corners by Akparabong junction.

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