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Gunmen hijack school bus in Ondo, abduct, release staff

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Ondo town

• It was robbery case, say police
• Mimiko denies ditching ZLP for ruling APC
• Says partisan politics least of concern now

Some gunmen, yesterday, hijacked a school bus in Oba-Ile Estate, Akure North Local Council of Ondo State, abducting one of the staff of the school, who was on duty to convey pupils to school.

The Guardian learnt that the incident occurred around 6:45 a.m. while the driver and the attendant were moving round to pick pupils of the school.

A source in the school recounted that the gunmen, numbering about eight, swooped on the victims on motorcycles, forcing the bus and driver to stop.

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According to him, the bus was driven away by one of the hijackers while others moved away from the scene on motorcycles.

But within hours of her disappearance, the bus attendant, who has been working in the school for two years, reappeared to recount her ordeal, saying that two motorcyclists drove recklessly to hijack the bus.

She said: “They were asking me questions and I was answering them. So, they told me they will not waste me and they later dropped me at Ilara-Mokin/Ikota. I did not know where they dropped me but I later saw an old woman who told me where I was.

“I trekked to the road and I begged people for help. A bike man gave me N500; that was how I found my way back to Oba-Ile.”

The administrator of the school, Mrs. Bolatito Akindemowo, said contrary to speculations that some pupils were abducted by the gunmen, no pupil was abducted during the incident.

MEANWHILE, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bolaji Salami, who confirmed the incident, dispelled kidnapping rumour, saying it was a robbery case.

Salami said signals had been sent to all police networks within and outside the state, assuring that the school bus would be retrieved.

“Initially, we were thinking that the perpetrators would kidnap the lady but from all indications, they are after the school bus.”

In another development, the immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has said that partisan consideration is the least of his concern now, stressing that he still remains the leader of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

He stated this in reaction to a report on his purported plan to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) published on a social media, describing it as “a piece of fake news.”

Mimiko, in a statement in Akure, yesterday, by his Special Assistant on Media, John Akinduro, said he was more concerned about how to pull the nation back from the brinks, and not some rumoured defection into another party.

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