There was palpable tension in Ondo State over the weekend following the abduction of 16 market women by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.
The women who were on transit from Akoko axis of the State to Akure, the state capital for the monthly meeting of leadership of the market women known as ‘Iyalojas’ and ‘Iyalajes’ were kidnapped on the busy Owo – Akure highway.
With the kidnap said to have occurred between Ogbese and Uso communities, the kidnappers who were said to be about 10 in number waylaid the vehicle of the market women after sporadic gun shots rented the air.
Among the kidnapped market women was the Iyaloja of Isua-Akoko, Akoko South East Local Government Area, Chief Mrs Helen Edward, who was leading the other women to the monthly meeting of the market women in Akure.
Upon kidnappingthe women, the driver of the bus conveying them was reportedly released by the abductors who instructed him to go and inform the families of the victims. Meanwhile, 10 of the market women have been rescued with four of the suspected kidnappers arrested.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro made this known. According to Ikoro, 10 of the kidnapped victims were rescued during a gun duel with the bandits while four of the kidnappers have been arrested. Ikoro added that efforts were ongoing to rescue others