Kwara Worsening Insecurity: Residents flee Ilorin community over influx of suspected kidnappers

By Ahmed Ajikobi
The worsening insecurity situation in Kwara State has started to take its toll on some agrarian communities in the state as residents of Sokoto village, a suburb in Asa Local Government Area, have started to flee the neighbourhood for fear of been abducted by suspected kidnapers.
Wife of the Magaji of Sokoto village, Iyabo Yunusa and his brother, Abdullahi Babatunde were both kidnapped last Sunday.
The latest development is coming just as suspected criminals and kidnappers appeared to have found a save heaven in the state for their nefarious activities.
Incidences of kidnapping have been on the rise in the state recently after the relocation of some suspected criminals to the state following the security crisis in Ibarapa local government area of Oyo state between some Fulanis settlers and villagers.
When our reporter visited Sokoto village on Sunday, the place was largely deserted by many of the residents who said kidnapping activities have increased and the people are living in fear following the invasion by the criminals.
It was gathered that many members of the community who numbered over 200 have left for neighbouring towns and cities. Just about 15 were cited at the time of the visit as a result of the aftermath of the activities of the criminals.
Narrating the incident, the Magaji of Sokoto, Yunusa Isola said the kidnappers invaded the area at around 8:05pm on Sunday in a Rambo style operation.
“They came shooting sporadically; everyone had to run for their dear lives. They hit one of us who fainted and then collected my people’s phones. But I miraculously escaped.
“In the process, they kidnapped my wife and brother and dragged them through the bush path
“With their looks, we suspect they are Bororo. The initially called me that they need 12 million naira to release my wife and brother. I started begging them. After two days, they called back and said I should bring N2m or else they will kill the victims.
“We later agree for N1.4m which was paid.
He explained further that, during the phone conversation the kidnapers confessed they were sent by someone I sold land to 3 years ago who alleged that I duped him.
According to the Magaji’s wife, “They enter my room and asked of my husband pointing a gun at me. I was seriously beaten and they started shooting in the process. When they didn’t see my husband, they held his brother, Babatunde Abdullahi. While at the den, we were serve gari but my brother in-law didn’t eat anything for four days.
“After the ransom has been paid, they drop us at Ogbomoso Area and gave us N1,000 to board Okada home”, he added.
When contacted, the police spokesperson, SP Ajayi Okansanmi denied knowledge of the development adding that “no village has been threatened in Sokoto community as police patrol are moving around the place.
Meanwhile, no fewer than five kidnapping cases were recorded throughout the state last week.
At Oke-Ode, two kidnapped victims were killed in the process of gathering ransom. In, Ilemona/Ira axis in oyun, one Samuel was reportedly killed in his farm. At Madhi village, a Tipa owner was kidnapped who later escaped and a carwash owner was also kidnapped but later rescued by a taxi driver.
In Ilemona, the suspected herdsman shot a farmer on his farmland identified as Samuel.
According to a source, the suspect is now at large while his brother has been apprehended and helping the police with necessary information.
Reacting to the cases, Police PPRO, Ajayi Okasanmi in a text message said “The case of two siblings kidnapped is news to me, as no such case was reported. The incident in Oyun involving Samuel is under investigation.
“Out of the five cases you are citing, only two are genuine kidnapping cases and the command successfully rescued the victims without paying ransom. The three remaining cases were self motivated and are under investigation.”

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