Dangerous dimension – The Nation

  • Good Samaritans abducted while helping accident victims!

In what clearly is a new and dangerous dimension to kidnapping, four travellers who rushed to an accident scene in Elele, Rivers State, to rescue the victims were abducted over the weekend. According to reports, the accident victims were returning to their base in Bayelsa State from a traditional wedding in Mbaise, Imo State, in a Toyota Sienna car, when a vehicle had a head-on collision with their vehicle. A popular Ijaw youth and social media activist, Prince Elayo Ekete, and the driver of the Sienna car died on the spot. Reports say the state police command is on the trail of the kidnappers.

This bizarre turn of events is something to worry about. It is simply amazing the extent that some people can go in their desperate search for money. There are two different accounts of how the abduction occurred. An account had it that other travellers from Bayelsa State, who witnessed the accident and rushed to the scene to rescue the victims were taken away by the abductors at the scene of accident.

Dina Adiva, one of the accident victims said that some persons, who came to rescue them were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, and prayed for their freedom. Adiva, who was rushed to hospital said: “I also pray for those that were kidnapped while trying to make arrangements to move us from Madonna University, Elele, to Yenagoa, that they come out unhurt.” She added that “This is a trying time for me and I know it will pass.”

But another source said the kidnapped victims were abducted after they had successfully rushed the accident victims to hospital. “The kidnappers went to the accident scene, recovered personal effects of some of the victims and called one of the rescuers asking him to come to a particular place to collect them. When they got there, the gunmen seized them,” the source said.

We are not interested in how the abductions took place: whether it was at the scene of the accident immediately it happened or after the victims had been rushed to hospital. We are worried that some people still had the presence of mind to abduct fellow human beings who had stopped by to empathise with victims of an accident in which at least two persons died.

Perhaps we should not be surprised because some people had been caught searching the pockets and handbags  of dead accident victims and stealing their valuables.

What all of these suggest is the loss of value in the country. The case under reference is particularly pathetic because accident victims deserve all the attention that can be given. The conditions of some of them are so critical that the attention they get within a few minutes after the crash will determine whether they will live or die. These were possibly some of the points considered when other travellers decided to give them a helping hand. To now abduct volunteer emergency responders in the course of rendering such humanitarian service is to send the wrong signals to others who might want to be nice that such does not pay.

This is bad for individuals, including the kidnappers; it is bad for the country. Anyone could be involved in an accident which does not give notice before it occurs, and the victims that would be denied the needed assistance in the critical moments could be anybody’s relatives. It is bad for the country when we begin to deplete the tribe of Good Samaritans this way.

But, contrary to Adiva’s believe, this is not a trying time for her alone; it is a trying time for the country. The question is: when will it pass? Put differently, how many more people would still be abducted before the government is able to put a stop to the menace of kidnapping? We join Adiva in praying that the Good Samaritans would not regret their kind gesture; that they will return home to tell their story.

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