Residents of Ayetoro, Ilara and Abeokuta staged a protest on Wednesday against the abduction of a commercial driver and three of his passengers on the Abeokuta-Imala-Ilara-Ayetoro Road in the Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The victims were abducted by gunmen at Olubo village, the same spot where a doctor and a nurse were kidnapped last month.
The victims were abducted on Tuesday around 8pm, while they were returning from the Ilara Market in the Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of the state to Abeokuta.
It was gathered that the victims were travelling in a Toyota Avensis car with number plate FFF 654 TK.
When our correspondent visited the village on Wednesday, it was observed that the vehicle was still at the scene of the kidnap.
The kidnap also came less than a week after a businesswoman, Roselyn Edusi, and her guest were kidnapped at Omu, Ofada in the Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of the state.
The residents, while protesting the abduction, barricaded the road and chased away policemen attached to a border patrol team from the checkpoint on the road close to the scene of the incident.
The protest disrupted vehicular movement, while many travellers were stranded on the road.
Our correspondent gathered that five other passengers travelling in the same vehicle were spared by the kidnappers.
Two of the spared passengers, Mrs Iswat Akewugberu and Mrs Rofiat Oladeinde, said the vehicle was abruptly stopped by four gunmen, who shot into the air repeatedly.
They explained that the gunmen, armed with AK-47 rifles and machetes, abducted the driver and three women, who were randomly selected among the passengers.
They added that the abductors spared a Fulani and two Hausa passengers among them.
They explained that the hoodlums collected their money and mobile telephones.
Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Ogun State Police Command, Bolanle Muritala, later arrived at the spot where the victims were abducted in a police helicopter marked 5N-GEJ around noon.
He appealed to the residents to remove the barricade on the road and stated that the police were already on the trail of the abductors.
Muritala, who was surrounded by irate villagers and gun-toting policemen, said, “We are going after the abductors; that is why we are here. We shall definitely get them.”
Confirming the incident, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the abductors were the remnants of the suspected kidnappers arrested on the road recently.
“We have been in the bush since yesterday (Tuesday). We will get them. They are the remnants of the ones we arrested recently. Our helicopter has been hovering around the area,” Oyeyemi stated.
Husband to one of the victims, Mutiu Oderinde, said his wife, Jelilat, had travelled to the Ilara Market to help her mother, who was unable to go due to illness.
Mutiu, who cried profusely at the scene and kept starring at the vast forest, appealed to the state government and security agencies to secure the release of his wife and other abductees unhurt.
Also, Chairman, Park Management, Ayetoro Motor Park, Abeokuta, Babatunde Adelakun, said the kidnapped driver was his employee.
He said there were 48 police checkpoints, including 10 mounted by highway patrol teams, from Abeokuta to Ilara.
Adelakun berated the police for not doing enough to protect travellers on the road, as some of the protesting residents said the police around the area were informed after the incident but they did not act.