Barely four days after he was released from the kidnappers’ den, Mr. Peter Ofulue, an official of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), was again kidnapped by some unknown gunmen on Sunday morning when he was preparing for thanksgiving in his church.
Ofulue, who is attached to the Passport Control Office, Ikoyi, was abducted at his residence at the Ishawo community in Ikorodu area of Lagos, alongside three other persons.
It was gathered that the situation has created heavy tension in the area as residents have started moving out for fear of being abducted.
While the identities of the two other kidnapped persons remained sketchy as at press time, Ofulue was kidnapped last week but was later released without any ransom paid.
It was also still uncertain if he was kidnapped by the same gang that facilitated his earlier abduction, or by another gang of kidnappers operating in that axis.
A family member who spoke on account of anonymity said: “When he was released, we were very happy. We were in the village in Delta-State doing thanksgiving service when one of our brothers called that he has been abducted again for the second time.
“He was cleaning his car for church service to also celebrate his release when four gunmen stormed our house and forcibly took him.
“I am still surprised that until now, his abductors are yet to contact us. His phones are switched off. We are afraid that something sinister will not happen to him.
“I am calling on the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni to do something urgently to rescue our brother. He is the breadwinner of the family.”
A police source who also spoke on account of anonymity said: “We received reports that three persons were kidnapped during the weekend. The family of the immigration officer should look inward as there maybe insider connection.
“How come he was abducted last week, released and he is now abducted again and in his house. If it is not insiders connection, it is either the hoodlums are living in the same area. Well, he should be able to know whether he offended anyone.”
However, a resident of the area identified as Tunde Omoleye said: “We are tired of living in this area. Kidnappers are on the prowl in Ishawo area of Ikorodu. It is an everyday’s affair.
“Everyday, one person is kidnapped either for ritual purposes or for ransom. Six of my friends who built houses in the area with me have all relocated. Houses are being abandoned daily by landlords for fear of being abducted.
“As I am talking to you, I have contacted my brother in Ajegunle, Ketu to help me to help me look for accommodation. I need two bedroom apartment. I want to relocate my family.
“It is a shameful thing that we are being stolen like chickens daily. There is no security. We have formidable vigilance group, but the kidnappers are more armed than us.
“These are militants armed with sophisticated weapons and we can’t confront them. That is why we are begging the police, especially the Marine Police to come to our rescue.
“We are abandoning our houses we suffered to build and the houses are useless as they are of no economic value. Everybody is relocating, who will now rent the houses?”
Attempts to reach out to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, proved abortive as she could not be reached on phone, neither did a visit to her office yield result.