Monday, 13 December 2010

Nigerian army kills kidnap group leader Obioma Nwankwo

The suspected leader of several kidnapping groups in Nigeria's Abia state has been killed, according to a statement released by Abia's state army. A security spokesman, Sagir Musa, has said that the military task force shot dead Obioma Nwankwo, known as Osisikankwu, in a forest shoot-out.

Nwankwo has been wanted for some time in connection to kidnappings and robberies in the area. Hostage taking for ransom has become so prevalent within Abia state that many middle class Nigerians feel the need to travel with armed security guards.

A joint military task force was deployed to Abia in September, to safeguard the locals and restore peace during a particularly turbulent time when businesses were forced to close and children were being kidnapped from their school bus.

Last moth, in an interview with Vanguard newspaper, Nwankwo said that he turned to militancy to protest against police abuse and extortion.

"We became militants because of the failure of government to live up to its responsibilities towards us. Many of us are graduates. Some are university drop-outs, who could not continue for want of fund or sponsors. There are secondary school leavers without a future in school or jobs," he said.

Source: BBC News

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