Armed ViolenceNews

Insecurity: Armed Men Abduct Traveller in Ekiti

Gunmen attacked travellers on the Isan-Iludun-Ekiti highway in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, kidnapping one person on Friday, indigenous security outfit, Amotekun Corps said.

Amotekun Corps Commander in the state, Joe Komolafe, a retired Brigadier General said the attack by suspected herdsmen became intermittently aggressive when the Corps and the police engaged the gunmen.

According to Komolafe, a distress call was made to the security outfit as the assailants shot at the vehicle which was conveying the travellers on Friday, and abducted a traveller as the victims scampered for safety in the nearby bush.

The attack, he said, was however repelled by men of the Corps and the police when they arrived at the crime scene. This led to the rescue of a would-have-been victim.

“We actually got a distress call from the people of the area on Friday that some persons were abducted on the Iludun-Ekiti Road and quickly, we dashed down and were able to rescue one person from the kidnappers after my men gave them serious manhunt in the bush.

“According to information made available to us, the victims were ambushed at a bad spot and when they were trying to make a detour to escape, another set of gunmen came out from the bush from behind them and started shooting at the vehicle from both ends.

“In their wisdom, the victims hurriedly opened the vehicle and ran into the bush in different directions. They were pursued by the gunmen and abducted but we were able to rescue one of them,” Komolafe said.

He added that the kidnappers abandoned one of the victims while men of the corps and the police rattled through the wood to rescue other victim.

Komolafe urged residents of Ekiti State to stay calm as Amotekun men, in collaboration with other security agents, doubled their effort on rescuing the kidnapped victim and surveillance on all highways to guarantee the safety of travellers.

HumAngle could not reach the public relations officer of the Ekiti State Police Command, Ogu Caleb Ikechukwu for comment Sunday morning as calls made to his known contact went unanswered.

As Nigeria battles insecurity with decades-long Boko Haram insurgency in its northeastern region—now extending to the northwest, a thriving kidnapping industry is blooming in its southern region with many expressing concerns about President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the situation.

Earlier this year, governors of southwestern states inaugurated an indigenous security outfit, codenamed Amotekun Security Network, to address security challenges facing the region.

Ekiti State was one of the first states to institutionalise the security network as cases of kidnapping became more rampant in the State.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the situation became pronounced in the last two months with about three cases recorded within two weeks.

Only recently, a former Commissioner for Agriculture in Ekiti State, Mr Folorunso Olabode, was kidnapped on the same route while one of his political associates, a councillor, was shot dead by gunmen, NAN said in a report.

Chinese expatriates working on the new Iyin Road were also recently attacked on site by gunmen who killed one of their police escorts and took one of the expatriates away after seriously wounding another expatriate, it noted.

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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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