A traditional ruler, Oba David Olajide, yesterday said that herdsmen blocked his way with cows and attempted to abduct him.
This was even as he announced that his community, Osi, in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, was under siege by herdsmen.
This development came as men of 323 Artillery Brigade arrested a man, who among others, had been using military camouflage to abduct people.
The suspect, Victor John, is alleged to be a member of a kidnap syndicate, using military camouflage to terrorise and abduct people.
According to the monarch, he narrowly escaped being abducted yesterday by herdsmen. Olajide explained that the men attempted to abduct him on his way to his community.
He noted that the herdsmen, numbering six, blocked the road leading to the community with cows, thus prevented him and other occupants of his vehicle from gaining access into the community.
He said that the hoodlums immediately attacked their vehicle, thereby forcing it to halt. The monarch explained that the kidnappers were shocked when they jerked his car door open and realised that he was not alone. He said that the herdsmen bolted, leaving their cattle.
Olajide said: “I was returning from the police headquarters after receiving news that the mother and her son, who were abducted on Sunday by herdsmen, had regained their freedom. They used the cows to stop my car, while six men came out from the bush, hitting my vehicle and ordering me to come out. But they were disappointed to see many people coming out from the car. They ran back into the bush, while the young boy acting as their surveillance was arrested. He couldn’t leave the cows and was handed over to the police.”
The monarch accused herdsmen within the area and Shasha community of masterminding abductions in the area.
He said: “Most victims have disclosed that the hoodlums usually leave for Shasha to charge their phones, in order to communicate with their victims’ families and negotiate for ransom.”
The Oba said that the mother, Mrs. Olawumi Adeleye, and her son, Destiny Paul, who were abducted while returning from church, had regained their freedom.
He noted that the two victims escaped from the kidnappers’ den in the middle of the night, while their abductors were sleeping. He explained that it took mother and son many hours to reach Eleyowo/Araromi community in the morning. They were moved to police headquarters, where he went to meet them. He was returning from the command when he had a brush with the herdsmen.
Olajide said: “The family of the victims paid N400,000 ransom without knowing that the victims had fled from their abductors.”
The monarch appealed to government and other relevant authorities to put security measures in place, so as to check kidnapping in the area.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the incident, said that one of the suspects was arrested, while the command had commenced investigation.
He said: “Our detectives are on the trail of the kidnappers. And I assure you that they will soon be arrested and brought to book.”
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