By Rotimi Ojomoyela, Ado-Ekiti
Abductors have freed four passengers kidnapped along Irele – Oke Ako Road in the Ikole Local Government area of Ekiti State on Wednesday evening, after the payment of N1 million ransom
The gunmen had waylaid the abductees and ferried them to their dens before making a demand N20 million ransom the family couldn’t bear.
A source close to the abductees at Oke Ako, said: “The four persons were set free this morning after payment of N1million which was contributed by their different families and as well drivers around here who launched fundraising appeal because drivers were involved.
“Shortly after they were kidnapped on Wednesday evening, the gunmen reached out to the family of one of them demanding N20million. But nothing could be done on it until Thursday when the families of the four victims came together and started negotiation,” the source said.
It was further gathered from.the residents of the town that, “Initially, the gunmen demanded N20million, later reduced it to N15million, N8million until they finally settled for N1million. One million naira is brisk business for the gunmen under 36 hours anyway.
“The gunmen said the people should meet them at a location in the bush at Kuru, Kwara State on Thursday night with the money, but the people felt it was not wise, so they delayed it till Friday morning.
“The ransom was paid in Kuru on Friday morning. The people went there in two vehicles to drop the ransom. It was some hours after that they released the four kidnap victims at the location. We share the same border in the bush with Kuru, Eruku,” he said.
The source, who said the rampancy of kidnap incidents and the growing insecurity in the Ekamefa communities was worrisome, said:
“This place is now a den of kidnappers and the gunmen kidnap people for ransom at will.
“Even, those kidnapped in other areas get to pay their ransom in this area and government is not doing anything about it. For instance those kidnapped at Orin Farm Settlement in Ido/Osi Local Government area came to this area to pay N3million ransom.
“We appeal to the federal and state governments to help us to dislodge the gunmen from the bush around here so that we can be at peace and as well be able to return to farming. The governments have not been doing anything, but we are appealing that they should come to our aid. They are in the bush here in large numbers carrying arms about”, he said.
Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, confirmed in his response that “They have been released”.