Adewale Momoh and Babatope Okeowo Akure
Following the rescue of the remaining three Idoani- Ifira Akoko South East Local Government Area of Ondo State kidnap victims by the operatives of the Ondo State Security Network Agency, otherwise known as Amotekun Corps, the victims have disclosed that they were abandoned by the driver of the 18-seater passenger bus during the incident.
According to the three victims identified as Benjamin Ojoga, Omolara Fajana and Faith Sunday who were handed over to their families on Saturday, at the Amotekun’s headquarters in Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, the driver of the bus zoomed off immediately the kidnappers fired gunshots and left them to their fate.
Few days ago, kidnappers had attacked a Lagos-bound bus on Idoani-Ifira road in Akoko South East Local Government Area of the state with some of the passengers kidnapped.
Shortly after the kidnap, Amotekun Corps in the state swung into action and rescued nine of the victims with a pledge to free the remaining three unhurt. One of the rescued victims, Benjamin Ojoga, stated that the gunmen struck when the passengers had alighted from the bus in order to enable it
fraudmove freely at a bad portion of the road in Ifira-Akoko Ojoga, 46, added that the decision of the driver made it easy for the kidnappers to abduct them as they were not conversant with the terrain.
He said: “It was after the gunshots that the driver of the bus zoomed off which gave the kidnappers opportunity to abduct us. “I sustaied injury from the beating the kidnappers gave me.
They were saying that I’m a force man and I told them that I’m not. But they didn’t believe me.” While also narrating how they were kidnapped, another victim, Omolara Fajana stated that “On that very day, we were coming from Abuja and heading to Lagos. Shortly after leaving Ibilo, our bus got stucked on the bad portion.
After spending about three to four hours getting the bus out, we continued the journey.
“On getting to Ifira-Akoko, we met another bad portion and the driver told us to come down so that the bus will be lighter and to enable it to move easily. “Immediately we came down from the bus, we heard gunshots and everybody became jittery.
At that moment, the bus zoomed off and the gunmen were able to pick four of us. One of us, an old woman who was limping was allowed to go but, they collected her phone.
“The incident happened around 6:30 pm. Then, they made us to walk for about three hours inside the bush. The kidnappers were speaking Pigin English and they looked like herdsmen.”
Speaking on the rescue operation, the Amotekun Commander in the state, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, emphazied that efforts were ongoing to apprehend the kidnappers.
“After we were able to secure the release of the first nine, Amotekun operatives still continued to comb the forest which is so massive.
It is the same forest that extends to some parts of Kogi State. We started tracing them and once they started maintaining contact with the victim’s families, we also commenced tracking up to the point we now gave them very hot chase and we were able to secure their release.”