Monday, May 24, 2021 7:58 am
By Richard Elesho
As the nation battles with security challenges across the country, unidentified gunmen intensified efforts at making life miserable for citizens in parts of the southwest between last Wednesday and Saturday.
Not less than four cases of abductions were reported in Ogun in the period while hunters foiled an attempted kidnapping in Osun State on Saturday. Criminal herdsmen were the suspects in all the cases.
The Nation reports that at least four persons including an indigent student were abducted from different locations by herdsmen in Ogun between Wednesday, 18th and Saturday, 22nd May, 2021.
The first abduction occurred within Ijebu-Ode on Thursday around 7p.m with Mrs B. L. Abimbola, who is the Deputy Director, Information Communication Technology, Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) Ijebu-Ode as the victim.
The other abduction took place on a farm in Abule Itoko village in Odeda Local Government Area of the state. It was gathered that in the abduction that occurred at a farm in Abule Itoko village, a 400 – level student of the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Abeokuta, the farm owner simply identified as Dominic and a 17-year-old female Togolese, were plucked off the farm while they were there working on Saturday.
Although abductors of Abimbola of the TASUED were yet to contact her family, it was learnt that their counterparts that operated in Odeda had reached the wife of Dominic for N150m ransom to release the three captives in their custody.
It was also learnt the FUNAAB student, being an indigent, had been working in that farm in the last three years to eke out a living and fund his education before he was kidnapped. Authorities of FUNAAB have identified the abducted student as Toyinbo Nathaniel Olayinka, a 400 level student of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management.
The University through its Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Kola Adepoju, in a statement on Sunday, said Toyinbo was abducted around 8a.m on Saturday at Abule–Itoko on Odeda- Ibadan road about 25 minutes drive from the University’s Permanent Site at Alabata Road, Abeokuta.
“The Management of the University has reported the abduction at Ogun State Police Command headquarters, Eleweeran and it’s working earnestly with the Command to ensure the safety and release of the kidnapped student,” he said.
However, while Ogun Police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, earlier confirmed the abduction of Abimbola of the TASUED in Ijebu – Ode, he was yet to respond to enquiries in respect of the alleged abduction of three persons in a farm in Abule Ikoko.
The same Saturday criminal Herdsmen harassed travellers including those in a church bus on Akure-Ilesha highway forcing many of them to abandon their vehicles in search of safety.
It was gathered that the incident occurred around 6:15 pm when the gunmen dressed in black shirts and red caps came out of the bush in an attempt to rob and kidnap the motorists along the axis. The gunmen later ran away owing to the swift response of local hunters and police on the highway.
During the ambush, some passengers took cover in the bush while other motorists turned back.
A driver at the scene said: “We were on the road for about 2 hours because we could not see some of those that we were travelling together. The herdsmen stopped the vehicles but I pulled over the car and I ran into the bush, one of them came close and took the bag inside my car that contained my money and clothes.
“Those people are Fulani and they are very dreadful. The quick intervention of the hunters and police forced them to leave the road. They attacked us to rob and kidnap us on that road. They were armed with sophisticated weapons.”
Spokesperson of Osun Police Command SP Yemisi Opalola confirmed the incident. She said: “It Is true that people that were suspected to be herdsmen came out of the bush and attempted robbing the motorists along Akure/Ilesa road by Iwaraja on Saturday around 6p.” She assured that the police has launched a hunt for the suspects.