by Tunde Odesola
Less than 24 hours after the kidnap of Muiba, wife to Osun State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Najeem Salaam, her abductors have demanded N200m ransom for her release.
A source told our correspondent in Osogbo on that the suspected kidnappers phoned the Speaker on Wednesday to make the demand.
It was learnt that the hoodlums assured him that his wife would be released as soon as the money was paid.
Investigation showed that the suspects told Salaam to call them back between 11am and 12 noon on Wednesday, assuring him that his wife was in safe.
But the Speaker told our correspondent that he would not comment publicly on the matter.
He said, “People have been telling me about N200m ransom; you know, people would come up with various versions but I’ve not been contacted by the kidnappers.”
Meanwhile, investigation has revealed that the six-man gang trailed Muiba, who is in her 40s, from her shop in Olota’s compound to the Speaker’s residence in Oke Oyo area.
Accoirding to reports, she was driving home in a Honda car with the state House of Assembly number plate when she noticed the suspcious movement behind her car.
She quickly alighted at the front of her house and made a dash into the compound but the gunmen caught up with her and forced her into their waiting car before speeding off.
The state House of Assembly has described the kidnap as “strange, barbaric and criminal”.
A statement by the Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr Goke Butikakuro, said the incident might be aimed at disrupting the peace in the state.
It said, “The state is known for peace and tranquility. The rate of crime in the state is very low and kidnapping is very strange. So, abducting the wife of the Speaker is worth investigating in order to determine whether the act was political or not.”
The Action Congress of Nigeria, Osun State chapter, described the development as “an ominous development signaling the gradual but seemingly unstoppable spread of criminality and anarchy across the country”.
A statement by the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Osun ACN, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said the Federal Government had lost grip of security control in the country.
The statement said security agents had the responsibility to rescue Muiba from her abductors, stressing that the incident had further strengthened the call for state police.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs. Sade Odoro, refused to pick repeated phone calls to her line by our correspondent.
Text messages sent to her line by our correspondent were neither acknowledged nor replied.
Odoro has formed the habit of ignoring inquiries by journalists over crime matters.
She had been reported by journalist on several occasions to the Commissioner of Police, Osun Command, Mrs Kalafite Adeyemi.
Repeated calls and text messages by our correspondent to the lines of the commissioner of police too were neither acknowledged nor replied.
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