By James Sowole in Akure
A first class traditional ruler, the Oniyani of Iyawo Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Joel Sunday Daodu, was at the weekend kidnapped by gunmen.
The monarch, THISDAY gathered, was kidnapped along Ose Oba Akoko axis of Ikare-Owo road almost the same spot where the Regent of Akungba Akoko, Princess Toyin Omosowon was kidnapped about two years ago.
It was gathered that the monarch was riding in the same vehicle with his second-in-command when the abductors struck.
The monarch’s abductors had demanded a ransom of N15 million before the Oba could regain his freedom.
A colleague of the kidnapped monarch, the Owa of Ogbagi, Oba Victor Ojo Adetona, said a brother to the Oniyani had called him that the abductors had demanded for N15 million.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the Ondo State Command, Mr. Femi Joseph, said the command would not encourage payment of ransom or any money to kidnappers.
He, however, said men of the command were already on the trail of the abductors in order to ensure safety return of the monarch.
Speaking on the incident, the Olowa of Ogbagi said it was high time the government provided security for monarchs in the state.
He said they had written to the government on the need for at least on policeman for monarchs but nothing has been done.
He also decried the treatment being given to traditional rulers, who were being treated with respect in the past but had not been turned to another thing.
The monarch therefore demanded that government should revert to the old tradition whereby Obas were being treated with respect and honour.