Six persons were kidnapped in two incidents on Saturday in Kwara, with the kidnappers escaping with the victims despite being chased by the police, local hunters and vigilantes.
Thte police spokesperson in the state, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the development in a press statement on Sunday.
Mr Okasanmi said the police had on Saturday received two simultaneous reports of kidnappings along the Oke-Onigbin/Omu Aran highway and in the Ekiti/ Ekan Meje axis of the southern senatorial district of the state.
According to the reports, six armed men had emerged from the bush and ambushed a Siena bus in transit from Ekiti State to Ilorin and marched the seven occupants of the vehicle into the bush.
Mr Okasanmi said the police “promptly dispatched its tactical units comprising the anti-kidnapping and anti-cultists units, joined by local hunters and vigilantes members; while police patrols on the routes were alerted.”
He said upon being chased into the bush by the security team, the abductors abandoned four of the seven abducted persons but escaped with the other three.
Mr Okasanmi said the police were making efforts to locate the criminals and rescue the three victims.
“Deploying similar tactics by operatives, those abducted in Ekan Meje /Ekiti axis using the same modus were equally rescued, remaining a pastor and his wife who the Command is frantically doing everything possible to rescue unhurt,” he said.
The police spokesperson said some suspects have been arrested and are helping the police in their investigation, Premium Time report
Mr Okasanmi advised the people of the state to go about their lawful businesses without fear of attack, adding that the police had intensified patrols of all routes in the state.
He also urged members of the public to promptly report any suspected activity within their immediate environments to the police.
But residents of the Kwara South Senatorial District have been expressing anxiety over the influx of cattle herders to their territory. Women and civic groups in Irepodun Local Government Area have been holding public protests against the phenomenon and demanding that no new group of Fulani cattle herders be allowed to settle in the area.
But the political authorities have always assured the people of security while encouraging them to welcome the new arrivals.
Prior to the current anxiety about the threats of kidnapping, the concerns raised in the area had been about the activities of migrant groups from Benue State who had settled in the bush for decades, farming but also engaged in depleting forests in the area by cutting down trees for charcoal which they sell for use as fuel.
Read below the statement by the police:
KWARA STATE POLICE COMMAND
Reports of two kidnap incidents were received simultaneously by the Kwara State Police Command on Saturday 07/08/2021 at about 1735hrs to the effect that, along Oke-Onigbin/Omu Aran highway and Ekiti / Ekan Meje axis that six armed men emerged from the bush and stopped a Siena bus in transit from Ekiti state on its way to Ilorin and the seven occupants of the vehicle were marched into the bush.
The Command promptly dispatched its tactical units comprising the Anti kidnapping and Anti cultists units, joined by local hunters and vigilantes members while police patrols on the routes were alerted.
The abductors were instantly chased into the bushes, four out of the seven abducted persons were rescued, efforts are still in top gear to get the remaining three rescued. Deploying similar tactics by operatives, those abducted in Ekanmeje /Ekiti axis using the same modus were equally rescued, remaining a pastor and his wife who the Command is frantically doing everything possible to rescue unhurt.
Some suspects have been arrested and are helping the command in her investigation.
Situation is under control, the good people of Kwara State are advised to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation and atttack. Patrols of all the routes in the state has been intensified.
Any suspected activties within our immediate environments should be reported to the police without delay, please.
Sp Okasanmi Ajayi
Police Public Relations Officer
Kwara State Police Command
FOR: COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
KWARA STATE COMMAND.