By Sabir Ajibola
A pan Yoruba group O’odua Nationalist Coalition (ONAC) has warned the people of Southwest especially parents and guardians to be vigilant in protecting their children. This came on the heels of the kidnap of a four-year old boy in Ogun State by three men all from Jigawa State.
The Pan Yoruba group in a statement on Monday expressed concern that children as young as four years old stand the risk of being kidnapped by some people from the Northern part of the country.
‘We warn Yoruba parents and people living in the South West to watch over their wards. There is increasing rate of child kidnapping organised by a cartel based in the North the statement signed by ONAC’s Organising Secretary, Ahmed Olubodun said. ONAC said the mission of the kidnappers are unknown but said the possibility of such children being used as child slaves or forcefully enlisted in terrorists groups is real.
ONAC said while the intentions of the kidnappers are unclear it not be unconnected with child trafficking or worse still recruiting them to fight for Boko Haram sect.
ONAC cited the instance of a four-year-old boy, Hamod Adeniran, rescued from three men, who allegedly tricked him out of his mother’s shop and abducted him in the Arepo area of Ogun State.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement on Sunday, identified the suspected kidnappers as Abubakar Saidu, Danladi Abdulkarim and Abdullah Idris, adding that they claimed to hail from Jigawa State.
According to the report one of the kidnappers pretended to be Hamod father.They were about to board a bus with Hamod at the Arepo bus stop on Friday, when some persons, who recognised the boy confront them and demanded where they were going with him.
It was learnt that one of the people, who knew Hamod’s parents, quickly alerted his mother, Nimota, who rushed to the bus stop to claim her child.
Hamod’s father, an Oyo State indigene said, “I got to my wife’s shop on Friday around 5pm to check on her and my children and I saw my son, Hamod, with her. Later, I left the shop for my office at the Tipper Garage in Arepo, but about 40 minutes later, I started hearing people shouting that three Hausa men had kidnapped a child at the Arepo bus stop.
He never that the kidnapped boy was his son until he got to the scene and found the son with three strangers and one of them was claiming that the boy was is son
The people quickly informed the police and the suspects were arrested.
He stated that the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, advised parents to take the security and well-being of their children seriously to avert a reoccurrence of such an incident.
Oyeyemi said, “The arrest of the suspects followed a complaint by the mother of the child, Nimota, who reported at the Warewa Police Station that she was alerted by one of her neighbours that her son was sighted with three strangers at the Arepo bus stop along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, where they were waiting to board a vehicle to an unknown destination.
“The child has been reunited with his parents, while the suspects are undergoing interrogation and based on the order of the CP, Kenneth Ebrimson, have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation and possible prosecution.”