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5 Hajj pilgrims kidnapped in Kwara

By Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin—There was pandemonium in Hajj Camp, Ilorin, among intending pilgrims from Kwara State when news filtered in that five of them had been kidnapped.

One of the victims, who later surfaced, was said to have been found stark naked, and in a state of insanity by a good Samaritan at Iwo in Osun State, having been earlier dropped off in one of the villages in Ogbomosho by the kidnappers since the previous day.

A search party said to have been sent to the area to look for the remaining four pilgrims Vanguard reliably gathered that the  unsuspecting victims from Ifelodun and Ekiti local government areas fell into the hands of the  kidnappers when they were returning from where they had gone to collect their Basic Traveling Allowance, BTA, for their journey from  one of the first generation banks along Taiwo road in Ilorin.

Informed sources claimed  that after the victims had collected their BTA from the said bank, they crossed to the other side of the road where they boarded a taxi-cab  going to the Hajji Camp located along Adewole Estate to join their colleagues for onward movement to Ilorin International Airport where they would board their plane for their journey to Saudi Arabia.

Few kilometers to the Hajji Camp, the driver of the taxi-cab was said to have brought out a substance and sprayed it into the taxi-cab which made the occupants of the taxi to sleep off.

Sources said the pilgrims did not wake up until they reached Ogbomoso, Oyo State, and the driver at gun point ordered them to call their relatives to inform them of their plights.

After calling their  relatives, according to sources,  the driver, however, asked them to switched-off their handsets and started driving them to unknown destination.

Sources also added that it was after the second day that one of them could come out from the bush at Iwo in Osun State in a naked.

However,  all efforts to speak with the Secretary, Kwara State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Imam Abdulkadir, proved abortive as his GSM phone was switched off when our correspondent called the number yesterday, but a senior official of the board who sought anonymity, confirmed the incident .

The State Police Command Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Ezekiel Dabor, also confirmed the incident,  saying the victims were five in number and that the state police command had been working day and night to fish out the people behind the incident .


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