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Anxiety as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway becomes hotspot for kidnappers

By Eniola Daniel (Lagos), Oluwaseun Akingboye (Akure) and Rotimi Agboluaja(Ibadan)
18 January 2022   |   4:13 am
Commuters plying the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are currently in fear of being kidnapped, following reports of several abductions on the road.

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

• We are on their trail, says police
• Monarchs rally against bandits, killer-herders in Ondo

Commuters plying the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are currently in fear of being kidnapped, following reports of several abductions on the road.

It was learnt that the kidnappers on Saturday, January 8, 2022, abducted five passengers, while another person, Ibrahim Tiamiyu, was shot in the thigh.

Eight days after the last operation by kidnappers on the highway at Onigari axis, the bandits struck again on Saturday, January 15, 2022 and kidnapped three persons at Ishara-Remo axis in Ogun State.

It was gathered that the bandits, about 10 in number, emerged from a bush along the road dressed in military uniform and started shooting sporadically, aiming guns at vehicles and their occupants.

Some were able to escape, including a Nollywood actress, Bimpe Akintunde and her daughter.

According to Akintunde, she was on her way to Lagos when she ran into the bandits at Oni-Garri. She further disclosed that the bandits were shooting directly at the vehicles on the road.

Staff of an undisclosed company who attended a ceremony and were returning home were not so lucky as one of the three vehicles conveying them broke down. It was learnt that while repair was being carried out on the faulty one, the kidnappers suddenly emerged from a nearby bush and abducted three of the occupants of the vehicles.

Speaking with The Guardian, on the efforts of the police to rescue the victims, Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, described the kidnappers as opportunistic. “They took advantage of the vehicle that broke down and abducted some of the passengers, but we are on their trail.

They carried out the heinous act before we came to the area but our ant-kidnaping squad is working tirelessly to rescue them.

When asked about the identity of the group responsible for the abduction, he said: “We can’t say for now, but they are operating in group.”

SEQUEL to recurring attacks on communities by suspected herdsmen and activities of highway robbers in Ondo State, traditional rulers in Akoko axis of the state have resolved to tackle the menace through all possible means.

The traditional rulers, who converged on Oka-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko South West Local Government, yesterday, with a view to proffering solution to the attacks, maintained that the situation is stifling development in the four local governments within the area.

Some women in the area went half-naked to demand an end to the abductions by bandits in Auga-Akoko as well as the attack on 17 travellers on Ifira Akoko-Isua Akoko road by armed robbers among others.

The monarchs maintained that they would not allow criminal elements to continue to have a field-day and blossom in their nefarious activities within the area.

While emphasising that the attacks will soon be a thing of the past, Olubaka of Oka-Akoko, Oba Yusuf Adeleye, maintained that communal efforts and divine efforts will be applied as parts of solutions to the problems.
According to Oba Adeleye, the security situation has drastically affected business activities in Akokoland and its environs.
He lamented that investors have refused to invest in the communities.

On his part, the monarch of Akungba-Akoko, Oba Sunday Isaac Adeyeye, disclosed that efforts are in top gear on the part of royal fathers to bring the perpetrators to book.

He noted that the wanton killings portend an ominous sign of danger, maintaining that traditional institutions in the zone will not foot-drag in ensuring that peace returns to the communities as soon as possible.

Similarly, the Regent of Akunnu Akoko, Princess Tolani Orogun, who also led a protest in her domain over the development, said the situation calls for urgent measures.

Orogun, urged the Federal Government and security agencies to rise up to the task and fight insecurity with more vigour .