A former Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Bassey Essien who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen over the weekend on his way to his farm in his country home Etebi, Esit Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom State has been rescued by combined efforts of youths and the police.
A family member who spoke with The Nation on the condition of Anonymity said that Essien who served as the second Assembly Speaker between 1999 and 2001 was rescued unhurt by the youths of Udung Uwe community in Urueffong Oruko Local Government Area of the State.
According to him: “Bassey Essien was on his way to his Farm at Etebi Esit Eket when some gunmen numbering six blocked his vehicle and dragged him out. They forced him in their own vehicle and headed towards neighboring Udung Uwe community in Urueffong Uroko council area but unfortunately their vehicle broke down and they mobilized motorcycle and continue their journey amidst heavy rainfall in the area but again the motorcycle had flat tires.”
The source, who said the abductors were unable to continue the journey into their forest hideout
because of flat tires, stayed with their victim in a bush around the community when information got to the youths of the Udung Uwe community from the police that a former Speaker had been kidnapped at Etebi Esit Eket and headed towards their community.
“A search party of youths was immediately raised and the entire bushes in the community was combed and the six abductor were apprehended with the former Speaker in their midst.” The source said.
He added that Essien was not wounded during the abduction saga but highlighted that the youths who abducted him had done so with the intention of collecting ransom from the family.
Some family sources said the abductors who asked for money from the former speaker to save his life told him that they were paid to assassinate him by unnamed politician in his area
He noted that the kidnappers had been handed over to the police for interrogation and prosecution.
When contacted the Police Public Relations Officer Akwa Ibom State ASP Cordelia Nwawe who confirmed the arrest of the hoodlums noted that investigation is ongoing and that the suspects
will soon be charged to Court.