Tony John, Port Harcourt

A local vigilance group in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State (ONELGA), Security Planning and Advisory Committee (OSPAC), has arrested over ten kidnap suspects, after storming their den.

Our correspondent gathered that the incident occurred in a forest between Ndele and Rumuji communities in Emohua Local Government Area of the State.

The suspects, according to sources, were members of a dreaded cult gang and kidnappers terrorising travellers on the East-West road.

Related: East-West road: No one safe anymore

It was further learnt that the Rumuji community had engaged the services of OSPAC to restore peace in the area, following rising cases of cult and criminal activities in the area.

It also gathered that the local vigilance group arrived the community on Monday, and recorded such feat.

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Meanwhile, the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Tom Aliezi, has denied promising to place repentant cultists of Ibaa community, in the LGA, on monthly stipends.

A statement by the assistant on Information and Communications to the chairman, Bright Jossy, debunked the claims that the council boss promised to provide financial assistant that would monitor compliance level of the two rival cult groups, that laid down their arms in the interest of peace and development.

The statement read in part: “We wish to categorically state that at no point did the council chairman make such promise, as the council chairman cannot pay any one for leaving crime, when the people are still suffering from the effect of their crime in the community.

“The council chairman declared that the council will make financial provision for members of the committee to function effectively.

“Therefore, the only form of payment announced by the chairman is for the services of the members of the implementation committee, since they will be working directly with the security agencies, especially in the area of information gathering, and not as compensation for turning a new leaf.

“Moreover, the Implementation Committee only consists of six persons, three from each of the rival cult groups that have over 50 members each,” Jossy stated.