Protests as bandits kidnap four, demand N10m

Angry residents of Ajebamidele area of Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Wednesday, protested against the alleged kidnap of four residents by gunmen on Tuesday.

The placard-carrying residents trooped out in large numbers as early as 7am and blocked the busy Ado-Ikere Ekiti highway, leaving commuters stranded just as business activities were paralysed.

It was learnt that the kidnap occurred in Goshen community in Ajebamidele, Ado Ekiti.

The residents decried the level of insecurity in the community and called on both federal and state governments to do something to save them from criminals.

The protesters claimed that a landlord, identified as Mr Falomo, his pregnant wife, as well as a man said to be a pastor, were among the kidnapped victims.

A protester, who identified himself only as Sola, said, “The woman (Mrs Falomo), was trailed to her residence by the AK-47-bearing kidnappers. Her husband, who came out on a rescue mission, was also abducted.

“The kidnappers fired several gunshots into the air during the attack to prevent the rescue of the victims. Some residents, who were just arriving home, fled in different directions.

“The other two victims were kidnapped as the gunmen were making their way out of the community. Policemen from the Ologede Police Station along Ikere Road arrived at the crime scene shortly after the kidnappers left.”

The Chairman of Goshen Landlords Association, Mr Samuel Fasua, said the protest was to draw the attention of government to the incident.

He said, “According to the information gathered, the masked kidnappers were armed with AK-47 rifles, which they shot sporadically. Nobody could come out to rescue the victims because of the heavy gunfire that rocked our neighbourhood during the incident.

“Guns boomed as if the place was a war zone. The matter has already been reported to the police.”

One of the protesters, Emmanuel Ayodeji, who said his sister-in-law was among those kidnapped, disclosed that the abductors called the family to demand a ransom of N10m.

Ayodeji said, “My sister-in-law arrived home in her car and they trailed her from outside. Her husband confronted them, but he was overpowered and they abducted him as well.

“It was this (Wednesday) morning that I later got to know that two more persons were kidnapped during the attack, including a pastor and a woman.”

After the protest, security agents, including the police, soldiers and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, visited the community.

The Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the kidnap, said, “I can confirm to you that three persons were abducted from the community on Tuesday evening. News of the fourth person remains a rumour as there has been no complainant to that effect.

“Operatives have been deployed to rigorously comb the bush for the rescue of the victims and apprehension of the abductors.

“Meanwhile, two suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and are currently being investigated.”

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