By Evelyn Usman & Wole Mosadomi
An attempt to abduct a four-year-old child from a school in Omole Estate, Phase 1, Lagos, was foiled, yesterday, this is coming on the heels of the abduction of a Catholic Priest, Reverend Leo Raphael Ozigi, and three other priests, on Sunday, in Minna, Niger State, after mass.
A 43-year-old suspected member of a kidnap syndicate that specialised in abducting children from Lagos and taking them to Ibadan, Oyo State, for ritual purposes, Kayode Olafisoye, and his fleeing partner, Kayode Akinola, stormed Mind Builders Private School, in the Omole Estate, at about 8am, yesterday, waiting for a convenient time to strike.
“Vanguard gathered that a parent brought her four-year-old kindergarten to school in a car, at about 8.30am.
Immediately the door of the car was opened to allow the child out, the kidnappers reportedly went for him.An alarm, which alerted the neighbourhood, was raised, consequent upon which Olafisoye was arrested, while his partner managed to escape.
A liquid substance, which he said was administered on their victims to put them to sleep, was recovered from him.
Shortly before he was handed over to the Police at Ojudu Division, the suspect revealed that he had been in the business of kidnapping pupils in different parts of Lagos for a long time.
Speaking in Yoruba language, Olafisoye said: “ We came from Ibadan. I can’t tell how many children we have kidnapped in Lagos.
Some of the areas in Lagos where we have kidnapped children are Berger, Ikotun, Iyana-Oba, Iyana-Ipaja. I can not remember other areas. “This is the first time we are coming to Omole Estate.“Whenever we kidnap these children, we would give them a tablet that would daze them.
We also give them this liquid substance (pointing to the black substance inside the bottle found on him). It is gutter water. It puts them to sleep. We don’t have any particular child in mind.
“Immediately we find a soft target, we would put them inside our car and zoom off. Our targets are usually children between four and seven years, who are not able to shout for help.
These children are used for rituals in Ibadan”.The Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the arrest, said the Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi has directed that the suspect be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Yaba for further investigation, adding that efforts were on to arrest the fleeing member.
In a related development, a Catholic Priest, Reverend Leo Raphael Ozigi, and three other Priests of the same Church were also kidnapped between Sarkin Pawa and Minna on Sunday as they were returning to Minna, Niger State capital after the Sunday Mass.
The suspected bandits reportedly raided some Communities in Munya local government area of the State killing scores of the villagers and also abducting an unspecified number of people.It was gathered that the bandits had stormed some of the Villages in Munya local government area Sunday afternoon and started moving from house to house raiding members of the Communities of their belongings including money and foodstuffs.
The bandits, who reportedly rode on Motorcycles with sophisticated weapons, raided villages like Tsihon Kabula, Jesso, Gunu, Gini, Chibani and Injita among others, where an unspecified number of people were killed.
Similarly, the bandits were said to have set up a camp at Chibani after blocking a bridge linking Munya local government and Shiroro to forestall any raid on them by the Joint Task Force.
“It was also reliably gathered that no fewer than fifteen communities were raided within forty-eight hours unhindered in the state.In Zagzaga Community, an octogenarian was reportedly set ablaze out of anger by the bandits when they discovered that the villagers had deserted the community.
The old man, it was gathered, was unable to escape due to his old age and chose to remain in his room but was set ablaze by the bandits.
Commissioner for Local Government and Internal Security, Mr Emmanuel Umar, who confirmed the development, said “There were some invasions by bandits on some communities in Munya local government area but we are still monitoring the situation.
“I cannot say the exact number of people killed or abducted but we will issue a statement later,” he remarked.Secretary of Munya Local Government Council, Mr James Jagaba, also confirmed the incident to Journalists on phone.According to him,” the terrorists have been operating unhindered for several hours and presently, they are still there.
“Nobody can tell you the number of people already killed or kidnapped, all I know is that there are casualties,” Secretary to the Local government declared.
The State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Niger State Chapter,(CAN) Reverend Mathias Echioda when contacted simply said, “I can only confirm to you of the Catholic Reverend kidnapped. I cannot specifically say how many other Priests were kidnapped along with him.