Tension in Kwara State University over Kidnapping

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

Some students of the Kwara State University (KWASU) Malete, have been reportedly abducted by unknown suspected ritualists that invaded the campus of the university on Thursday evening..

The incident according to THISDAY investigations happened during the ongoing semester examinations in the university.

It was learnt that, the suspected ritualists were said to be using shuttle taxis around the campus of the university to carry the students who were in hurry to sit for their examinations and in the process apply substances on them unconscious before driving them away to unknown destinations.

However, one of the abducted students who happened to be a 200-level student of the institution, Miss Dorcas Oluwatimilehin Olarenwaju was dumped at Omu-Aran when the ritualists were said to be heading towards Ekiti State.

Narrating her experience, Miss Olarenwaju of Mass Communication department, who was dumped in Omu Aran, Irepodun local government area of the state on Friday morning, said that whereabouts of six of the victims were unknown on Friday.

“While in the taxi I boarded, a woman in the vehicle complained of feeling cold, so the glass windows were closed up. I lost consciousness and later found myself among some people in the night.

“We were about 13 in the place as at Thursday night but the ritualists have taken six victims away. They told us that they are heading to Ekiti State. I was kept inside the booth of the vehicle. When we got to Offa, they asked of my origin and I told them that I’m from Omu Aran. So, when they wanted to take water for the faulty radiator of the vehicle at Omu Aran, I was dropped and set free, unknown to them, in front of my father’s house,” she said.

Dorcas, who is the daughter of the chairman, Correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Kwara State and state correspondent of The Sun newspaper, Mr. Layi Olanrewaju, was abducted on Thursday afternoon on her way to the campus in Malete.

It was also gathered that the victim had left her off-campus residence to write an examination and boarded one of the campus shuttle vehicles when she was eventually driven to an unknown destination.

Apparently sensing danger in the circumstances she had found herself, it was learnt that the victim quickly sent a text message to one of her friends to inform her that she had been taken away by some unidentified persons suspected to be ritualists.

Speaking on the development, the director, university relations, Dr. Isiaka Aliagan, said that security had been beefed up on Malete route, around the campus and Malete environ to keep criminals at bay, adding that armed police patrol had been deployed on the route and regular checking of vehicles intensified since yesterday.

According to him, “A 200-level Mass Communication female student of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete was reportedly kidnapped by unknown persons yesterday but later dropped at Omuaran where she was found.

He said, “Preliminary information available to us indicated that she reportedly left the premises of ongoing examination to her off-campus hostel to pick her course registration form, after which she went missing.

“The university learnt that she sent a distress call through her mobile phone indicating that she could not identify the location at which she had been dropped.

“Immediately they were alerted, officials of KWASU Safety unit swung into action by contacting the security operatives and telecommunication agencies to track the phone”.

Aliagain added, “the female student had been picked up by the police. Officials of KWASU Safety unit and her parents were invited to the Omuaran police station to pick her up.

“KWASU management would like to stress that all efforts were made to secure the lives of its students staying on both campus and off-campus hostels, while all commercial transport operators were duly registered with the university to ensure proper monitoring of their activities”.

He noted further that, “At the moment, the identity of the vehicle involved in the kidnap incident or its driver is not yet known. We believe the security operatives are up to task and would work round the clock to track the perpetrator(s) of the crime. Management would give maximum support and cooperation to the police to track the kidnapper(s) and ensure justice.

“Following the unfortunate incident, security has been beefed up on Malete route, around the campus and Malete environ to keep criminals at bay. Armed police patrol has been deployed on the route and regular checking of vehicles intensified since yesterday.

“Management wishes to urge students to be security conscious, to patronise only registered transport and to report strange persons or movements around their hostels and campus”.

Speaking on the development, the police public relations officer (PPRO) of the state police command, Ajayi Okasanmi, said that the command had commenced investigation on the matter, adding that the report had been circulated to police formations within and outside the state towards possible arrest of the suspected hoodlums.