Three communities in Ivo local government area of Ebonyi state, yesterday, protested the kidnap of seven children from the area by gunmen even as they gave the state police command a seven day-ultimatum to secure the release of the children.
The three communities, Ovumte, Ayaragu and Ekembe, alleged that unknown gunmen stormed the communities between December 23 and 24, 2012 and abducted seven children, who are yet to be released as at the time of going to press.
The villagers who went on a peaceful protest to drive home their demand over the incident marched to Ivo Divisional Police headquarters where they charged the police to rescue the children and expose the culprits to avoid unnecessary crisis in the council area.
Sources from the communities revealed that the abducted children were within the age bracket of three and five.
The protesters who were in their hundreds comprised mostly aged women and youths.
They were seen on major roads in the area chanting war songs as they warned the police and other security agencies not to handle the matter with levity.
They said, "Our villages are under siege; armed abductors have taken over our villages and we live in fear of the unknown. We are giving the police one week to uncover those behind the act. They should not handle this matter with levity but with utmost commitment".
A source close to the Ivo divisional police headquarters who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that one person had been arrested in connection with the incident.
"The police is on top of the situation; we have made one arrest and investigation is ongoing and soon all those involved will be in our net," the source said.
Contacted, the Ebonyi state police command spokesman, Mr. Sylvester Igbo, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) who confirmed the incident noted that one suspect (name withheld) had been arrested while investigation was on.