From Idongesit Inyang
The last batch of kidnap victims along the Calabar River have been released.
The victims, Midweek Pioneer gathered, were released late last Saturday night after they all parted with some N1.5million, while the University Professor, paid N3 million as demanded by the pirates.
According to one of them who pleaded anonymity, “We were the last set to leave the creeks after my family parted with N1.5million out of the N3 million they asked us to bring.”
He said, “They blindfolded and drove us to the Calabar beach market close to Hawkins Cemetery. That was where I saw myself when I opened my eyes. But I thank God that I am out finally.”
We had reported, earlier, how travelers along the Calabar River were kidnapped by sea pirates while onboard a speedboat from the Safe Journey harbor, along Marina Road in Calabar to Oron in Akwa Ibom.
Before the release of the final batch of victims, MidweekPioneer also learnt that a Professor with the University of Calabar, identified simply as Effanga had been released after paying the N3 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
Midweek Pioneer also learnt that two Naval officers who were part of those kidnapped, dropped their staff identity cards right inside the sea after sensing danger and that was their saving grace otherwise, they would have been killed.
With the terrible nature of the Calabar-Itu Road, a lot of travelers have now turned to the waterways as a more viable means of transportation especially between the two sister states.
They are however facing a serious risk with the emergence of sea pirates and other criminal activities along the Calabar River.