The Special Adviser on Youth to the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Engr. Udengs Eradiri, has condemned in strong terms the kidnapping of an expatriate in Bayelsa State on Saturday.
The expatriate simply known as Mr Rony is an engineer with PAACHE Construction Limited, the contractor handling the 4.5-kilometer Igbedi Road project in the state.
He was, however, rescued by a joint team of security personnel after an exchange of gunfire with the kidnappers which led to the death of one of the hoodlums.
Engr. Eradiri, in a statement released on Sunday, described the act as sad, barbaric and a huge setback to the developmental aspirations of Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta region.
He said: ” It is so sad that our youths will resort to kidnapping construction workers building roads and infrastructure we desperately need in the Niger Delta.
“I condemn in strong terms the incident of kidnap at Igbedi, Bayelsa State, of construction workers and any other related incident of such evil and criminal acts in the region and Nigeria.
“We cannot complain about underdevelopment and in the same vein create an hostile environment for development.”
Eradiri, a former Commissioner for Youths and later Environment in Bayelsa, commended security agencies in the state for their swift response that led to the immediate rescue of the expatriate.
He stated that the timely intervention and professional rescue operation which foiled the effort to escape with the foreigner has saved everyone of the trauma, especially the ransom demand that would have subsequently followed.
The former Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), President, while charging security agents to go after the fleeing members of the gang and arrest them also asked them to provide more security cover at construction sites to avoid a repeat of the embarrassment.
He further urged the state government to reward the gallant officers and work towards improving the security of its citizens by engaging more youths at the community level to work with security agencies.
“I use this medium to commend the galant security personnel for the exceptional bravery and gallantry that led to the rescue of the victims and urge government to reward the soldiers involved and encourage security forces with the required equipments and better welfare in order for them to carry out their duty of securing lives, property and the society with commitment and dedication.
“I call on youths to desist from actions that will put the region in bad light. I know things are hard but it’s not enough to reduce human dignity to kidnap and criminality in the name of survival.
“Government at all levels must do everything to create an economically viable environment for businesses to strive in order for jobs to be created to engage youths as ‘an idle mind is the devils workshop,'”he said.