From Judex Okoro, Calabar

Gunmen on Saturday attacked the convoy of PRP Cross River governorship candidate, Dr Usani Uguru Usani, killing two and abducting four others along Calabar-Ikom federal highway.

The attack comes barely two days after the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Prof Mrs Gertrude Njar, and Kenneth Abang, an aide to a House of Representatives member, were kidnapped.

Prof Njar was kidnapped around the Mayne Avenue-Atamunu axis in Calabar South in the early morning of Wednesday while Kenneth Abang, an aide to a House of Representatives member, was abducted penultimate Saturday.

In the last couple of months, a gang of armed men have been on a rampage along the Calabar-Ikom federal highway terrorising travellers, kidnapping some and collecting ransom worth millions of naira even as several others were shot even as police have deployed crack detectives to man some sections of the road.

Investigations by Saturday Sun revealed that this week has witnessed a series of unreported attacks on passengers and motorists on the Calabar-Ikom highway.

A witness said about 3:00 pm, the gun-trotting men stationed at a section of the road not manned by security operatives shot sporadically at the tyres of vehicles.

The hoodlums were said to have divided themselves into two groups to ensure that their victims don’t escape.

According to the witness, the gunmen ambushed a convoy coming from Calabar and immediately opened fire and killed two persons in the process and whisked away four others.

The gunmen also attacked the vehicle carrying the PRP governorship, Dr Usani Usani, and riddled it with bullets, wounded one of the convoy drivers and injured several others.

Usani was on his way to his home town in Nko, Yakurr alongside the deputy governorship candidate, other party members and supporters.

Confirming the incident, the Cross River state Commissioner of Police, CP Sule Balarabe, said: “A white Ford with registration number AAA 41 AQ was ambushed by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers at about 3:45 pm around Betem axis of Ikom Calabar highway on Friday.

“They opened fire on the vehicle killing yet-to-be-identified two persons and abducted three others.

“The vehicle in which they killed two persons had 7 occupants including two police officers, ASP Ibor Bassey and Insp. Ebro Ebri, who escaped and called for reinforcement.

“A tactical Unit was immediately dispatched to the area and three persons have so far been rescued including Barr Egbe Eworo, Arit Chelsea and Victor Akpan all members of PRP,” CP Balabare said.

“We are appealing to all community leaders, Chiefs including traditional Rulers to help security agencies, because these criminals are not spirits, they are human beings who live amongst them, without useful and timely information, it will be very difficult to nip these nefarious activities in the bud,” CP Balabare stated.

Speaking, the media aide to PRP governorship candidate, Mr David Agabi, said: “We were attacked on our way out of Calabar.

“We were in a convoy, the gunmen started shooting at us around Betem in Biase LGA, my principal’s driver as his SUV was riddled with bullets, other members of our party in the convoy also suffered various degrees of injuries.”

Explaining that Dr Usani is good condition, he said three out of the four persons abducted have been released.