From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The joint effort of the police, Amotekun Corps and hunters rescued a kidnap victim on Christmas Day, one of two people abducted by unknown gunmen in Ekiti State.
The incident happened along Isan-Iludun road at about 6 pm when commuters were stopped by gun-wielding bandits who abducted them, one of which was Oluwaseun Fatile.
Security agents are still making efforts to rescue the second abductee, identified as Happiness Ajayi, from her captors.
A former state Commissioner for Agriculture Mr Folorunso Olabode was also abducted along that route, with one of his political associates shot dead by the gunmen.
A source from Iludun Ekiti confirmed to reporters in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday that a vehicle coming behind the victims quickly alerted the police and Amotekun Corps for speedy action.
‘It was a vehicle coming behind the Jeep conveying the victims that stopped his car and fled into the bush to contact some people.
‘The people contacted immediately called the police in Oye-Ekiti and the Amotekun Corps, who were joined by local hunters, and gave the gunmen a hot chase into the bush and rescued one of the victims,’ the source said.
Reporting on the incident, Ekiti Police Command spokesman Mr Sunday Abutu confirmed that his men at the Oye Divisional Police Station worked with other local security outfits to rescue one of the kidnap victims.
Abutu said in a statement:
‘On December 25, 2020, at about 6 pm, a distress call was received by Oye DPO that some unknown gunmen forcefully stopped one Lexus Jeep along Isan-Iludun Ekiti road and kidnapped the two occupants.
‘Upon receipt of the information, the DPO led his team to the scene with the assistance of the Amotekun Corps, the vigilantes and the hunters, one of the victims was rescued while serious effort is ongoing to ensure the rescue of the other victim.’
Abutu said the success of the operation indicates the readiness of the police to work with Ekiti locals to rid the state of criminals.
The police spokesman added that the Commissioner of Police, Mr Babatunde Mobayo, appealed for calm and implored anyone with useful information concerning the incident or other criminal activities to contact the nearest police station for prompt action.
Also speaking, Amotekun Corps Commander in Ekiti, Brig-Gen Joe Komolafe (retd), said the victims were waylaid by the gunmen and opened fire on them before they stopped their vehicle.
Gen Komolafe explained that it took the quick intervention of his men who were on routine patrol to give the kidnappers a hot chase, after which the kidnap victim, Oluwaseun, was rescued.
‘We got a distress call from the people yesterday [Friday] that some persons were abducted along the Iludun-Ekiti road and quickly we dashed down there and were able to rescue one person from the kidnappers after my men gave them serious manhunt in the bush.
‘The victims were ambushed at a bad spot and when they were trying to make a detour and escape, another set came out from the bush from their back and started shooting at the direction of the vehicle from both ends.
‘In their wisdom [the victims] hurriedly opened the vehicle and ran into the bush from different directions. They were pursued by the gunmen and abducted but we were able to rescue Oluwaseun from them.
‘Sensing danger from the Amotekun Corps, the kidnappers abandoned Oluwaseun for us and we have been in the bush with other security agents since yesterday trying to rescue the other person,’ the Amotekun commander stated.
Gen Komolafe called on residents of the state not to panic, assuring the public that his men along with other security agents would ensure the safe return of the remaining victim and ensure maximum security on the highways during the yuletide.