by Ojo Oyewamide
Regent of the university town of Akungba-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oluwatoyin Omosowon, and three other persons were on Tuesday night kidnapped by gunmen.
The victims were abducted on their way from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, where the regent had attended the inaugural lecture of Adekunle Ajasin University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun.
The hoodlums forced Omosowon and three other victims into their waiting vehicles and zoomed off towards Owo/Benin road.
The regent’s Toyota Avensis car was abandoned on the road while the occupants were whisked away.
But two of the victims have regained freedom, as they escaped from their abductors and were seen yesterday morning around the place they were kidnapped.
The two escapees were said to have been taken to the Area Commander’s office in Owo.
It was also learnt that the kidnappers have established contacts with the community.
Residents yesterday protested the abduction and demanded unconditional release of the regent and other victims.
The protesters marched round the town, calling on security agents to help secure the regent without delay.
All shops, markets and motor parks in the town were closed during the protest, which also prevented commercial and social activities from taking place just as commercial vehicles and motorcyclists popularly called Okada, from neighbouring towns were prevented from entering the town.
Traditional chiefs in the town performed different rituals to secure the release of the regent.
The rituals, the traditional chiefs said, would continue until the release of the regent.
Commissioner of Police, Isaac Eke, and other top officials of the command moved into the town to assure residents that their regent would soon be rescued.
Eke, in company of men of other sister security agencies, met with the traditional chiefs at the palace of Alale of Akungba and said no efforts would be spared to rescue the regent.
President of Akungba Development Union, Bode Ekundayo, said the incident was regrettable and shocking to the people of the town, adding that it was the first time such an incident would happen in the town.
Ekundayo said: “It is regrettable and shocking that our regent could be kidnapped. We had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police. We have pleaded with the youths not to take the law into their hands. We have abated the tension. This is a national phenomenon.”
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