Newsbreak: Suspected herdsmen Kidnap six in Ekiti community, ask for N50m
By Samuel Agbana
Kidnappers of six people in Ekiti community have asked for N50m ransom before they could free those abducted among which were women and at least one pregnant woman. The incidence took place at Itapaji community on Tuesday shortly before 10pm
It began when hundreds of people who were preparing for the burial of a traditional Chief in Itapaji-Ekiti, Ajoni local government area of Ekiti State on Tuesday were dispersed by the gory attack on their homes. Twelve of them, half of who came from outside the community were kidnapped. Amotekun and locals mobilized but could only rescue six of the twelve.
“Amotekun put up a brilliant resistance even with no arms. They confronted the invaders using unarmed combat tactics. They were able to rescue only six of the abducted” Deji Omotoyinbo, the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Counselor representing the community told Irohinoodua.
Local sources said the kidnapers were suspected herdsmen many of who have become naturalized in the past 15 years that their once scanty migration became large scale. The kidnappers as at this morning have asked for N50m before they can release their captives.
“We were all preparing for the burial of Chief Olukotun. Suddenly a man in jungle boot came claiming he was looking for network for his phone. He met a middle aged house wife who tried to assist him. This same person later, in company of some ten armed men stormed a private home where some of the guests were lodged. They shot into the air and marched the residents into the bush”, Alaba Akinjobi a resident told Irohinoodua.
He said in all, 17 people were kidnapped but five of them were asked to go back the kidnappers having noticed they would delay their quick exit from the crime scene. The five people had little children strapped on their shoulders.
The eye witness account said the kidnappers first asked for the keys of the two buses brought by a native of the town who had conveyed his friends and well wishers for the burial but that the drivers of the buses were not in the vicinity prompting the kidnappers to force their victims to walk. Amotekun and locals quickly mobilize to dislodge the file of victims and create confusion which led to the escape of six victims. The kidnappers fought back, firing guns suspected to be AK47, giving the sound of the guns. In the ensued melee, the kidnappers rammed their victims into the thick forest and disappeared into the surging night cloud, sources said.
Our correspondent heard that the victims are likely to be kept in the thick forest between Ekiti and Kogi State where most people kidnapped in the area were usually taken to in previous circumstances.
- Our correspondent was informed that Itapaji-Ekiti has no police station like the surrounding five communities. The police withdrew in 2008 following the attack on one of them by herdsmen. The police victim lost one hand. The enraged police command withdrew, subsequently, police formations from Itapaji, Irele, Ipao and Oke-Ako communities unto this day. On the latest incidence, while some sourced suggested local collaboration, other sources claimed the herdsmen have become part of these communities having migrated into the areas in the last two decades, leaving among the people. Many of them were given access to land long time. They did not foresee the future implications.