By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
Unknown gunmen who kidnapped four travellers along Ayetoro/Otun-Ekiti have reportedly demanded for N10 million as ransom for the victims to regain their freedom.
According to a source close to the family of one of the victims, the assailants contacted the family at the early hours of Tuesday and demanded N10million before they could release the victims.
It will be recalled that the victims, according to reports from the area, were said to have been ordered into the bush by the gunwielding evil doers at the early hour of Monday.
It was gathered that two buses conveying passengers from Otun Ekiti were waylaid by the kidnappers, but they only succeeded in abducting four passengers, while others escaped by the whiskers.
A source revealed to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti that one of those who escaped told him that the gunmen took away four passengers from the two buses.
Another source, who got wind of the information when some hunters resident in the area were being informed for proper action said, “The hunters were called that some kidnappers were operating along Ayetoro – Otun Road.
“But before they got there, the gunmen had piloted two buses into the bush. At that point, we cannot say the number of people taken into the forest, but the buses were there.
“I advised the hunters and the security agents who arrived the scene later that the kidnappers would have gone towards the Otun end and that they would not have gone far that time.
“Definitely, they were the ones who operated along Ayetoro – Ewu Road on Sunday evening. The Sunday operation was not successful and that was why they waited around to carry out this one,” the source said.
“Another twist to the incident was that the suspected kidnappers, upon realising that they had missed their prime target, on Sunday evening, started attacking commercial motorcyclists by shooting sporadically into the air to scare people.
“An okada rider was stopped at gun point and they took all his valuables, while another okada operator escaped into the bush. The kidnappers fled when they noticed the other okada rider had escaped”.
Confirming the abduction, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, said :”We heard the information and we have deployed our personnel there.
“There was a kidnap incident yesterday. It began on Sunday evening when some suspected robbers attacked a man who the police thereafter rescued. But this morning, we learnt that the suspects were the ones who abducted some road users. The police are on their trail.”
On the ransom purportedly demanded, the PPRO said he was not aware of any negotiation between the family of the victims and the kidnappers. But he assured that the victims would be rescued freely without any hitch.