By: OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Unknown gunmen at the weekend reportedly kidnapped a petrol dealer based in Ekiti State, Mr. D. Alalade.
Alalade, is the Manager of one of the BOVAS Petroleum and Gas Limited Filling stations in the State.
A source ,who escaped from the scene confirmed to journalists that the couple were kidnapped at Efon Alaaye in Efon Local Government Area at about 4pm on Friday.
The source said the couple’s family had been contacted about their abduction and a sum of N20 million ransom was being demanded to secure their release.
The source said the kidnappers who allegedly resembled Fulani herdsmen dressed in Military camouflage and waylaid the victim’s vehicle between Efon and Erio-Ekiti.
According to the source, the abductors, numbering six wielded sophisticated weapons while carrying out the operation.
“As they waylaid their car, the occupants of the vehicle coming behind them quickly ran into the bush to take cover.
“They even shot into the air to scare us and ensure that we waited, but we ran for our lives. We even thought they were robbers until we leanrt that they have called the abductors’ family”,he said.
The sprawling forest between Efon, a border town with Osun State to Iwaraja, an Ijesa town,had been branded beehive of criminals in recent times .
Prominent indigenes of the state, including the State Financial Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Mr. Kayode Oni, have
been kidnapped in that axis recently.
It would be recalled that men of the Nigeria Army a couple of weeks ago combed the bush, in an attempt to arrest those who were taking cover in the forest to perpetrate
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Ekiti Command, Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu, said he has not been briefed about the incident.
He promised to give detailed information to pressmen as soon as such is available.
Meanwhile, combined forces of military men and police have rescued the kidnapped couple and six others from the captivity.
The soldiers and men of the Operation Flush from Ekiti State Command ,were said to have invaded the expansive forest where they were held hostage Saturday’s morning and combed the area.
A source said there was fierce gun duel between the security men and the gunmen before the breakthrough was recorded.
The source said: “They requested for N20 million ransom from the Oil dealer, they later reduced to N15 million. They were constantly making contact with the family of the oil dealer on the deal.
“As of this morning (Saturday), the family could only raise a sum of N1.2m and that was the situation before the soldiers and police stormed the forest and secured their freedom”, he said.