Suspected militants have kidnapped four Britons in Delta State police and community leaders said on Wednesday.
According to PM News, the victims had been providing “free medical care and religious activities” in the Burutu area of the state.
The medium quoted Chief Theo Fakama, from the local Enukorowa community, as saying that locals were “saddened” by the kidnapping as the victims had “brought succor to residents of the community for the past three years.”
The spokesman for Delta state police, Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the kidnapping, which happened on October 13, Channels TV reports.
“The victims are of British nationality, two of whom are a couple, and have been rendering humanitarian services in the area for a while.
“But unfortunately, they didn’t let the authorities know of their presence in the area all this while.
“There is a militant group that has been operating in the area and we believe they are the ones behind the abduction.
“Immediately the militants struck, they whisked the victims to the interior regions of the creek where we believe they are being held for the past five days.”
It was unclear whether any contact had been made with the kidnappers or the motive for the seizure, he added.
PM News reports further that on October 14, the Vatican said an Italian priest was kidnapped by gunman just outside Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Delta state commissioner of police Zanna Ibrahim told reporters in the state capital, Asaba, on Tuesday: “An anti-kidnapping team is already on the trail of the suspects.”
He suggested the abduction could be linked to a recent military operation against violent crime, which has seen an increase in troops in southern Nigeria.