The abductors of over 30 travellers in Ifon area of Ondo state over the weekend have demanded N90 million ransom before can release their victims.
The travelers were kidnapped on Akure-Benin Expressway at Ifon in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State while coming from Edo State. The victims were said to be returning from a burial ceremony in Ewatto, Edo State when they were attacked at Ifon, a border town between Ondo and Edo State.
Confirming the development, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, said the state government was not involved in the ransom negotiation, saying payment of ransom further encouraged and empowered kidnappers to thrive in the illegal business.
He cleared that 18 people were kidnapped on a fateful day but nine of the victims escaped.
She said, “The victims went for burial at Ewatto town. They were returning in a 32- seater Coastal bus hired from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic when they were attacked by suspected kidnappers. The kidnappers shot into the air and took 18 of the passengers.
“Those remaining called the Amotekun Corps who got to the scene within 15 minutes. Among those in the bush, seven were found and two others escaped.
“Amotekun is working with the police, the DSS and the Nigerian Army to secure release of the remaining mine victims. They are demanding ransom of between N3 million and N10 million.
“We commend the gallant of Amotekun Corps in getting to the scene. Ondo State will not be a safe haven for criminals. They find this spot convenient because it borders Edo State. They will strike and run back into Edo State.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami, said the men of the command were still in the forest together with other security agencies to ensure other victims were rescued.