Panic gripped the residents of a section of Ekiti state, when suspected gunmen allegedly kidnapped four people along the Oke Ako–Irele highway in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti state, on Wednesday.
Multiple sources confided in newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Thursday that the incident occurred at about 7.30pm and that the kidnappers had started demanding N20 million ransom.
Those abducted were said to be occupants of a commercial car and a mini-truck travelling on the road that leads to the border.
The victims were said to have been ambushed at a pothole-ridden portion of the road that links to Ekiti and the Kogi border.
The sources alleged that the driver, who is from Ipao Ekiti and a passenger were abducted in the commercial vehicle, while the driver and his assistant were taken away in the mini-truck, which was said to be conveying charcoal.
The source said: “We were in a meeting at about 8pm on Wednesday when we got information that there were two vehicles with doors opened and the headlights on the road, but that there was nobody in the vehicles.
“On getting there, we saw a commercial vehicle and a mini-truck. But before we got there, the occupants of the two vehicles had been abducted by the kidnappers. The abductors had been calling since Wednesday night requesting N20 million as a ransom for the victims.
“In the course of the phone call from the den, we got to know the victims are four and that the passenger boarded the commercial vehicle at Irele Ekiti and headed to Ayedun Ekiti.
“The commercial car driver said he did not know where they were in the bush but that all he knew was that they were near a river as they could hear sounds of a flowing river. However, men of the Police Rapid Response Squad, Amotekun Corps and local hunters have been combing the bush to rescue them. it is our prayer that they get them hale and hearty”.
A source specifically added that the communities in Ekamefa, comprising Irele, Ijowa, Oke Ako, Ipao, Itapaji and Iyemero were living in fear of the kidnappers, who he said had surrounded the area.
Speaking with journalists on the incident, the spokesman for Ekamefa, Oluwafemi Abayomi, said: “Insecurity is a big problem in our area here. Our people are not safe, nobody can go to the farm again without being kidnapped.
“Ekamefa calls on the state and federal governments to help us, we are helpless in the hands of the gunmen. There are soldiers at Ipao, there are soldiers at Oke Ako. This kidnap incident happened around there, we need help,” Abayomi said.