The Oyo State Police Command has confirmed the abduction of two sisters, Pastor Omobola Adepoju and Mrs Abiola Olukotun, from a farm in Ibadan on Monday.
The victims are the daughters of the former Director of Sports in the defunct old Western Region, and Proprietor of the Subuola Memorial Nursery/Primary School, Ibadan, the late Chief Emiola Adesina.
The news of their abduction was made known in a short message to one of our correspondents on Tuesday by a retired permanent secretary and professor/directing member of staff of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, Tunji Olaopa.
According to the police, the community, where the victims were kidnapped, had been cordoned off by security agents in an effort to rescue them and arrest the abductors.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the command, Olugbenga Fadeyi, told one of our correspondents, “The women were kidnapped yesterday (Monday) on a farm in the Badeku area of Ibadan. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Shina Okukolu, has given an order to his men to bust the crime.
“As we speak, personnel of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, the Special Tactical Team, the Police Tactical Team, the Operation Puff Adder, the IGP Tactical Team and the Federal SARS have all been deployed in the area.
“They have cordoned off the area and are carrying out a massive manhunt for the kidnappers in order to secure the release of the victims. I spoke with the officer in charge of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad and he said policemen were combing the bush and the adjoining communities in an effort to secure the release of the victims.”
A close family source said on Tuesday that the funeral of Adesina held a week ago.
“Omobola came in from Atlanta, United States, and was with her sister on her farm at a location on the Ife Road in Ibadan when they were both kidnapped on Monday. The kidnappers have called the family to demand N100m,” the source stated.
When contacted, Abiola’s husband, Mr Kitolu Olukotun, said the abductors were six in number and alleged that three of them were Fulani herders, while the others were Yoruba.
He stated, “My wife and sister-in-law went to the farm in the afternoon on Monday. Suddenly, the kidnappers emerged from the bush. According to one of my boys on the farm, they were six in number.
“Three of them are Fulani, while the remaining three are Yoruba. One of them was carrying an AK-47 rifle, which he fired in the air. They shot at the tyre of a vehicle and also fired a shot at the driver of our customers.
“They ransacked the vehicle. After that, they marched my wife and sister-in-law through the bush path. When they called me, they demanded N100m. But, I told them that I didn’t have such money. I told them to accept N1m, which they rejected. They then refused to speak with me again. They have been threatening my wife. They insisted that they would not take anything less than N20m.”
Meanwhile, the police in a statement on Tuesday warned against the indiscriminate construction of unmanned community gates and careless patronage of commercial motorcyclists by residents of the state in view of the growing insecurity.
The statement read in part, “The Commissioner of Police wishes to draw the attention of members of the public to the indiscriminate construction of unmanned security gates in our communities and streets. The practice though appears to be a response to a security need, a review of the situation has shown that the strategy does not achieve much as criminals in our midst have continued to breach it.
“The recent experience of the police in response to distress calls has been frustrating. The CP, therefore, wishes to advise all and sundry to be circumspect with the construction and installation of unmanned security gates in their environment. It is professionally advisable that while we lock our doors and gates against intruders, we should be mindful of other exigencies.
“If there is a need at all to install security gates, we must endeavour to make them accessible to security agencies, who may be responding to distress calls or other emergencies like fire or other life-threatening health issues.”
The command also warned residents to be wary of kidnappers disguising as commercial motorcyclists, adding, “For instance, a case in point is the story of a commercial motorcyclist, who under the pretext of avoiding the task force, took two youngsters far beyond the gate of their school.
“The distress call by the youngsters attracted bystanders and a police team. The hoodlum was arrested and is being interrogated.”