Barely 24-hours after the release of the abducted secretary of Isheri North Estate Association, Dayo Adekoya, five farmers and two members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) were tuesday evening kidnapped at Epe area of Lagos.
The five farm workers who were seconded to Eliasa farms were abducted while at work at the Igbodu area of Epe, alongside the OPC members who were the local security on ground.
It was gathered that they were abducted by gunmen numbering about 15, who dressed in military camouflage, stormed the farm situated along Ishiwo road.
Investigation revealed that the two OPC were employed by the farm owner to provide security at the farm when kidnapping in the community was on the increase in the area.
After abducting the OPC members and the farm workers, they were taken through the forest into their waiting boat at the riverside.
As at the time of filing this report, the kidnappers have not contacted the farm management to make any ransom demands.
A source in the area that spoke on anonymity said about two weeks ago, same gunmen invaded the community and abducted six farmers and one customer who came to buy farm produce.
He said, “The Lagos State government and security agencies should focus more attention on the area because of the increase of kidnappers in that part of the state.
“The kidnappers also stormed the community on Friday, January 27, 2017 and abducted a 24-year-old Olabiyi Ifeoluwa, a Graduate of Nutrients and Biotechnology from Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho in Oyo State and three other farm workers identified simply as Busuyi, Kposu a Togolese national and one John.
“The four kidnapped victims were workers of Tanda Farm, while Ifeoluwa was employee at the farm two weeks before the incident. Thereafter the abductors contacted the owner.
“From what we gathered, N2million ransom and two cartons of red label gin were eventually paid as ransom for their release.
“The negotiator, Ayodeji Akinyemi, who is Ifeoluwa’s fiancé, was said to have dropped the ransom at a designated point, as directed by the abductors.
“He was said to have also been instructed on phone, the direction he would lead the released workers through in the forest after their release.
“Upon their release, Akinyemi had told us that the kidnappers also had a room where kidnapped babies are kept, as well as first aid box for treatment of injured victims.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the incident said seven farm workers were kidnapped.
She said: “Seven farm workers were kidnapped at Igbodu area and we are working assiduously to rescue them.
“The Lagos State Police command has commenced investigation following the report.”
Also, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, also said the picture was not clear yet on the reported kidnap.
He said, “We received a distress call that some farmers were kidnapped, but when the Divisional police officer and his men visited the scene, they discovered there was no such incident.
“But after sometime, I heard that it was some farmers who were off-loading chicken that was kidnapped. We are still investigating the matter to get a clearer picture.”