The five Chinese workers kidnapped in Nigeria on Friday are safe and could be
released soon, Xinhua reported yesterday, quoting a reliable source.
source was reported as saying that an unnamed powerful regional leader would
"offer necessary assistance to the Chinese rescue group as well as the state
government and the police in rescuing the hostages".
News agencies also quoted Rivers State police boss, Felix Ogbaudu, as saying
that leaders and prominent citizens of Emohua community, where the kidnapping
took place, have offered to assist in the search and efforts to release the
hostages as quickly as possible.
"There has been no information yet about the whereabouts of the hostages, but
the chairman of the local government, Emeka Woke, has promised to wade into the
matter since it is his area," Ogbaudu was quoted as saying.
Woke also said that there was progress in resolving the problem, adding that
all necessary contacts were being made to secure the release of the Chinese
The Chinese rescue group headed by Wang Lei, political councilor at the
Chinese embassy, arrived in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, on
The five hostages, from Southwest China's Sichuan Province, were working in a
rural telecom program when they were kidnapped by unidentified armed men last
The Chinese government has asked its embassy in Nigeria to make all-out
efforts to help secure the release of the workers.
President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao ordered the Foreign Ministry and
China's embassy and consulate in the African country to do everything possible
to rescue the kidnapped.
Meanwhile, officials in Sichuan visited and comforted family members of all
the five kidnapped, said Vice-Governor Huang Xiaoxiang, who heads an emergency
response team in the province.
Two of the kidnapped workers 43-year-old Gao Zemin and 36-year-old Li Shaofu
were from Jianqiang Village in Guansi Township in Renshou County, said township
head Li Shaojun.
He said that both were from poor families and went to work in Nigeria in
According to the township chief, each of the kidnapped workers earns about
$800 a month in Nigeria, a considerable sum by local standards.
China Daily - Agencies
(China Daily 01/08/2007 page1)