Some men armed with weapons have kidnapped five oil workers in Nigeria’s restive southern Niger Delta region, an area regularly hit by militant attacks and abductions, police told AFP on Friday.
It was gathered that the suspected militants seized the workers on Wednesday near the Ajoki community, which borders Edo and Delta States, said Delta State police spokesperson, Andrew Aniamaka.
“The police in partnership with the military are working to ensure that the victims are rescued unhurt with the perpetrators arrested and brought to book,” Aniamaka said.
The workers are employees of Sahara Energy Oil Company, a Nigerian energy firm.
“The oil workers were in a boat en route to an offshore location when the gunmen arrived,” said local resident Ajugu Fidelis, who witnessed the abductions.
“(They) stormed the waterside and ordered the workers into their boat amidst gunshots and sped off to an unknown location.”
This is coming barely a few hours after the Niger Delta Avengers, a rebel group known to attack oil pipelines, issued a statement warning the government it was ending a 2017 ceasefire agreement.
The NDA’s targeting of oil and gas infrastructure in 2016 led to a slump in output that helped tip Nigeria into recession.