In Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, kidnappers who kidnapped travellers in the Omi-Alafa area along Owo-Ifon Road have demanded N90 million in ransom from the relatives of their victims.
The victims were reportedly abducted on Saturday as they were leaving an interment service in Edo State.
Only 18 passengers were taken hostage, while nine were liberated, according to Mrs. Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, who provided an update on the situation yesterday.
Ademola-Olateju said: “They went for a burial at Ewatota, in Esan Local Government Area of Edo State. One of the buses, a 32 seater coastal bus hired from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, was attacked by suspected kidnappers. The vehicle was ransacked; the people were searched and dispossessed of their valuables.
“They selected 18 out of the passengers and matched them into the bush. Some of those that were left behind immediately put a call to Amotekun corps, which swung into action.
“Among those that were taken to the bush, Amotekun found seven of them. Out of the remaining eleven, two of them escaped and only nine people are still in captivity. Right now, as I speak, Amotekun is working with the police, the DSS, and the Nigerian Army to ensure their release.”
She noted that “the kidnappers have made contact with families of victims and they are demanding ransom of between N3 million and N10 million. Investigation of this abduction continues but it’s important to note and commend the gallant men of Amotekun in getting to the scene and rescuing some of the victims.
“The kidnappers found it easy because the scene borders Edo State. They will strike and run back to Edo State because they know that Ondo State is no longer a heaven for criminals.
“I must say again that a lot of accolades should go to our governor for his foresight. Without Amotekun, what will Ondo State have been? This morning, I was with the Amotekun commander and 360 new recruits have started their training, that’s Batch 004.
“This is in addition to the 350 that were recruited in July for Batch 003. Again, on the authority of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo State can never be a heaven for criminals, bandits, terrorists and robbers.”