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Lagos residents advise govt on highway kidnappings

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Some residents of Lagos State under the aegis of The People’s Forum have advised the federal and state governments and suggested solutions to crimes, especially kidnappings, on Nigeria’s expressways, following recent kidnappings on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

In recent times, kidnappings have reportedly returned to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and this has become a cause for concern to commuters and residents of Lagos State.

On September 26, 2022, The PUNCH reported that officers of the Ogun State Police Command foiled a kidnap attempt on the Kara Bridge end of the expressway after a gun duel with the kidnappers, and a victim was rescued.

PUNCH Editorial in its November 7 publication noted that at the Ibadan, Oyo State end of the expressway, suspected Fulani bandits attacked travellers on October 27, abducting five persons and killing several others.

The report, referring to the expressway attack, stated that the daring gunmen repelled the police before killing those who resisted them and capturing several travellers whom they took into the forest.

Another report emerged on October 29 which stated how security agents foiled a kidnap attempt on the same expressway on Friday, October 28.

“The kidnap attempt occurred at Imolisa village and which is within the territory of Ogun State, although it is not far from Dominion University which is located within Oyo State. I was told that the security agents had travelled to Lagos Airport to pick up their boss and were returning when they ran into the incident. They were said to have exchanged fire with the criminals but eventually repelled them and chased them away before they could whisk away their targets,” the report quoted the Commandant of the Amotekun Corps in Oyo State, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (retd.), as saying.

In a follow-up report on the October 28 kidnapping, The PUNCH reported that a policeman was killed and another injured during the incident. “During the process of prevailing and preventing further chaos from what was evidently an abduction scenario, an officer attached to the command paid the supreme price with one other badly injured and presently responding to treatment,” the Oyo State Police spokesperson, Adewale Osifeso, was quoted as saying.

Further details emerged of how the abducted a student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, alongside her graduate sister and an ex-deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. Adigun Agbaje.

On January 1, an Instagram user, @kashamadupeadelawal, posted “Our friend and brother were kidnapped in that same Oni-garri and shot dead inside the bush the next day,’’ He was reacting to a post by Nollywood actress, Bimpe Akintunde, who narrowly escaped being kidnapped on the route at the time.

On January 7, a commercial driver, identified as Oluwatosin Aruwajoye, was killed by kidnappers and five passengers were abducted. Their abductors later demanded N30m ransom from their family members.

On Sunday, January 17, seven wedding guests were kidnapped at the Isara-Remo end of the expressway.

One of the victims, Folahan Akinsola, narrated then that they were told to go and raise N15m each for the remaining four victims.

On August 9, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Gbenga Obaleye, wrote on Facebook that criminals kidnapped 20 persons along Kara Bridge. The police later dismissed the claim as a lie.

On August 16, a teenage student of a private university in Osun State, Ireoluwa Akinlaja, kidnapped along the expressway and later escaped from his captors at Ikorodu, Lagos.

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