Unknown Gunmen have taken the Chairman of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) hostage. Professor Nimi Briggs, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt was abducted from his residence last night after addressing a stake holders meeting.
River’s state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Felix Ogbaudu, as said the police were working on clues to find out his whereabouts as well as the identity of his abductors.
A statement from the state government has condemned the abduction, saying: “These actions have nothing to do with the rights of the people of the Niger Delta, for who Prof. Briggs has always been a dogged fighter.”
“Government wishes to urge those who may be holding Prof. Briggs hostage to release him unconditionally and unharmed,” the statement said
Meanwhile, the Action Congress (AC) in the state have condemned the abduction. In a press statement made available to The Times of Nigeria a few hours ago, Tonye Princewill Campaign Organisation described the kidnap as a “Very sad and condemnable event.”
“We find it hard to believe considering the efforts the present administration in our State is making to provide good governance to our people that Prof Nimi Briggs the Chairman of the reconstituted Rivers State Independent Election Commission (RSIEC) whose patriotic antecedents and humane tendencies are well known to all Rivers State people should become a victim of vicious and visionless politicians in the State whose goals are adverse to the growth of our State. Why such a harmless, respected and amiable personality should be kidnapped at this time is just an attempt by these retrogressive elements to sabotage the efforts of Amaechi’s administration in restoring confidence of Nigerians and the International Community to the safety of the State to invest and to encourage those Investors that have closed shops to open them.
“Let us reiterate without fear of contradiction that if this is the step as we have being reading in the papers these past two weeks of effort by a frustrated clique to destabilize the administration of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi then this group of miscreants and misguided elements doe not know the current mind-set of Rotimi Amaechi as he is out not only to safeguard the lives of the people of Rivers State and any interested Investor but is not in the mood of condoning any form of criminality in the State.
“We urge those behind this heinous act to release Prof Briggs as a mater of urgency and stop dragging the good name of Rivers State to the mud. To the family of Prof Nimi Briggs we plead with them to have faith in God and the capability of the present Government to get out their bread winner as soon as possible and to the people of the State to assist the government to fight these criminals to a standstill as we have no other State to call our own except Rivers State. To the other members of Rivers State Independent Election Commission they should not in any way be intimidated or be deterred to conduct a credible Local Government Polls which is alien to the group that has perpetuated this criminality against our State” The statement signed by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze concluded.