Onitsha Traditional Council has said that the recent abduction of some children from Kano, who were later rescued in Onitsha by the police, has nothing to do with religion and ethnicity as being insinuated in some quarters, but a criminal act perpetrated by individuals for commercial purposes.
The Council, has therefore, expressed its disapproval of the abduction and disclosed that the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, and the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, have not only condemned the abduction, but also have left no stone unturned to seek an end to such ugly development.
In a statement issued and made available to the press in Abuja, it noted that ‘’from all indications, these are criminal acts perpetrated by individuals for commercial purposes without any religious, ethnic or social connotation whatsoever.”
Both traditional rulers, according to the statement have ‘’unequivocally condemn the criminal act, and are committed to the rule of law, mutual respect, and peaceful and harmonious co-existence amongst all Nigerians wherever they may reside.”
It added that the front line monarchs have also ‘’urged all citizens of Kano, Onitsha and the entire country to maintain peace and support the officers of the law in carrying out their duties.’’
The Council further commended the Police Commands in Kano and Anambra States for their efforts so far and urge them not to relent in the drive to expose all other cases of similar
nature and bring all perpetrators to book.
“From its ancient origins, Onitsha, like Kano, has been a meeting point for people from diverse ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds, who co-exist in harmony, peace, and respect for one another and the laws of the country,” it stated.
It would be recalled that the Police in Kano recently rescued nine children kidnapped from the state and trafficked to Onitsha in Anambra State.
Kano State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ilyasu, while briefing journalists on the development, disclosed that eight suspects have been arrested in connection to the crime by the tactical team of Kano Command with the support of Inspector General of Police’ Operation Puffadder attached to the anti-kidnapping squad.
He explained that the children were between the ages of two and 10 years, who were kidnapped five years ago by a gang led by Paul Owne and his wife, Mercy Paul, both 38 years old, residing at NB Dakata Quarters, Kano.
The kidnappers, Ilyasu added were arrested while trying to take one of the children, Haruna Sagir Bako, who was kidnapped last September on his way back from Islamiyya school at Yankaba Quarters in Kano, to Onitsha.