By Adeola Badru
The security situation in Ibarapa area of Oyo State became heightened again, following the hijack of an 18-seater bus along Igboora/Eruwa road by gunmen and the consequent abduction of all passengers in the commercial bus.
The incident which was said to have occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning has reportedly increased apprehensions in the minds of commuters and residents in the area.
Confirming the abduction, Oladiran Oladokun, told Vanguard that an 18-seater bus coming from Abeokuta transporting passengers along Igboora-Eruwa road, when the gunmen laid ambush on them.
When asked if the matter has been reported to the police, Oladokun noted that he was not sure if the matter has been reported to the Igboora Police division because he did not personally have the division’s contact, but confirmed the abduction took place.
Vanguard further gathered from a family source of one of the victims that the gunmen demanded the sum of ten million naira for the release of each of the victims.
The source said: “Yes! The 18 people were kidnapped this morning. Seven persons yesterday, 18 today.”
Another source who spoke to Vanguard, noted that kidnappers have continued to have their ways despite heavy security presence in the zone.
He confirmed that seven people were also kidnapped around 5.pm on Wednesday.
“The rate of kidnappings in Ibarapa in the last few weeks have become worrisome. Yesterday at 5.00pm, seven persons who were on their way to Eruwa had their vehicle stopped on the bridge and were whisked away into the kidnapper’s vehicle. This has taken a new dimension. I am greatly disturbed.”
“The police are back on the road extorting money from drivers. With their presence, nothing has changed. Should we say their presence has brought the resurgence of kidnappings in the region?
“They were busy extorting money which is very important to them, while kidnappers are free to do their nefarious act. God dey.”
“Two weeks ago, two students were kidnapped. The parents paid 1.2M before their release. The commercial vehicle conveying the students was stopped midway. The poor state of the road has added injury to the scenario. Where do we go from here?”
As at press time, all efforts to get reactions from the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Adewale Osifeso, proved abortive as calls made and messages sent to his phone line were not responded to.
Meanwhile, in a quest to further get reaction on the abduction, a telephone call was placed across to the Amotekun commander, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (rtd.), who said he has nothing to say on the incident.
“We are not authorised to speak on such issues, we are not the Police. Go and confirm from the Police to get reaction. Anything the Police say is authentic. This is Amotekun and not the Police,” he said.