TRACKING>>Some traditional rulers and chairman of Andoni Council of Rivers State risk sack as the 72-hour ultimatum given to them by the state government to ensure the release of three Lebanese expatriates elapses.Governor Nyesom Wike had on Saturday issued a 72-hour ultimatum to leaders of Andoni to ensure the release of the engineers working on the Andoni Unity Road.
The Guardian gathered that the whereabouts of the three Raffoul Nigeria Limited workers remain unknown. This was corroborated by the Rivers police spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, who assured that the police and other security agencies were working assiduously to ensure the release of the expatriates.
Wike had warned that if by the end of Tuesday (yesterday) the kidnapped expatriates were not released, the state would formally depose all government-recognised chiefs in the council and cancel the Andoni aspect of the Unity Road project. He also threatened to sack the Andoni council chairman if the expatriates were not released unhurt.
Worried by the threat, the chairman of Andoni Traditional Rulers Council, Dr. Aaron Ikuru, has appealed to the governor to be patient while stakeholders in the area strategise to ensure the release of the kidnapped.“We are thoroughly disturbed because we are being painted in bad light by these miscreants that kidnapped persons working on our road. We want to appeal to the governor not to be angry, especially with the traditional rulers,” he said.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ikuinyi Ibani, who hails from Andoni, said he was working with the traditional rulers to secure the release of the men. Ibani condemned the menace of kidnapping and cultism, expressing hope that the victims would be released alive.