Kidnapped oil workers will be released soon- Police

Chidi Samuel

Nnamdi Omoni, the spokesman, Nigeria’s police, Rivers state command has informed Bloomberg that the force is closing in on 15 kidnapped oil workers and are hopeful of rescuing them soon.

It will be recalled that the 15 Nigerian oil workers with a local oil firm, Nest oil were attacked and kidnapped by unknown gunmen last Friday on their way to work in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

“The security agencies are working on it,” the police spokesman, said by phone from Port Harcourt.

“It’s all hands on deck. We’ve recovered the vehicle. As soon as possible, they’ll be rescued,” he added.

Omoni refused to disclose any information regarding where the workers were being held, saying it could jeopardise police operation.

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Kidnappings are common  in the oil-producing Niger River delta, with victims being freed after a ransom is paid. Militants in the region have escalated attacks on oil and gas pipelines and export terminals since February, sending Nigeria’s crude production crashing  to an almost 30-year low.

Meanwhile the state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., may be “crippled” if the attacks aren’t stopped, it said in an e-mailed statement on Saturday.

“There’s an urgent need for government and security agencies to refocus as well as engage” with communities in the Niger Delta,” the oil firm said