The Nigerian Police Command in Rivers state has confirmed the abduction of Chief Cassidy Ikegbudu, Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Ahoada East Local Government Area, PM News reports.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt that Ikegbudu was abducted in the early hours of Saturday.
Muhammad said that the police had received report of the abduction of the council chairman and “the command is aware of the incident involving the caretaker committee chairman.
“Action has been put in place to rescue him safely,’’ he said.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly candidate for Ahoada East Constituency 1, Mr Eric Apia, told NAN that armed men abducted Ikegbudu from his village, Yiboko, early on Saturday.
“Reports received from his family said there was exchange of fire between security personnel attached to the chairman and the armed men.
“The armed men later took the chairman away, dragged him to a nearby river and went away in a speed boat,’’ Apia said.
Apia said Ahoada East was supposed to have a re-run election for the House of Assembly and that shooting began last night.
Ikigbidi is an ardent loyalist of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and a leading light of All Progressives Congress, APC,in the. state.
He was once an elected council chairman of Ahoada East local Government council. But when his tenure expired, he was among the select few Council Chairmen who were appointed as Caretaker Committee Chairmen of the same council.
Ikegbidi,a High Chief in Ekpeyeland, was leader and vocal spokesman for APC members who protested to the INEC headquarters in Abuja to demand the transfer of Mrs Gesila Khan, the Rivers INEC Resident Electoral Commission, REC,who was accused of being a compromised umpire and tool in the hands of the PDP.
Ikigbidi who spoke on behalf of the protesting APC members in Abuja vehemently opposed Mrs Khan’s umpireship and asked that all results emanating from Rivers INEC be rejected as they were not the true reflection of the wishes of Rivers people.
*With reports from Okafor Ofiebor and NAN.