Olaleye Idowu

There was an attempt coming from Bandit to kidnap some inhabitants in Ekiti, specifically at Ayebode in Ikole Local Government yesterday where it engages soldiers in a gun duel after their attempt to kidnap three commuters was resisted.

The incident, according to sources, occurred around 10:00 am, leading to the desertion of the Ayedun-Ilasa-Ayebode highway for several hours with motorists due to fear of attack.

An eyewitness told journalists in Ado Ekiti that the soldiers engaged the bandits at two different locations – Ayebode and Ilasa – and pursued them into the bush to ensure that their operations didn’t succeed.

He disclosed that three commuters coming from Ayedun-Ekiti to Ilasa were not that lucky as the gunmen picked them up at another location after escaping from the soldiers.

The source said those who were kidnapped were travelling along Ayebode-Ilasa road when the gunmen started shooting, adding that those who escaped from the scene quickly called a nearby Army post and soldiers were swiftly drafted to the area.

Two of the occupants of the vehicle that forcefully escaped from the scene were reportedly hit by bullets and sustained fractures in their legs, while their car was riddled with bullets.

The source added though the soldiers succeeded in pursuing the kidnappers into the bush, none was apprehended. The sporadic gun battle was said to have made motorists plying that route to quickly take a detour to avoid being caught in the crossfire.

“There was sporadic shootings between the soldiers and the kidnappers. The soldiers acted gallantly, but the kidnappers escaped through a secondary school in Ilasa into the bush. But another gang resurfaced between Ayedun-Ilasa road and kidnapped three persons.

“A driver carrying some passengers who wanted to escape by force had his car shot and two persons sustained fractures in their legs.

“Many people could have been kidnapped if not for the quick intervention of the soldiers, but three were taken away,” he said.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Sunday Abutu, confirmed the incident, saying the kidnappers abducted four persons.

Abutu stated that the combined forces of the military and the police rescued six men from the gunmen.

“The information we heard was that four persons were abducted. But the security men responded swiftly to the situation and rescued six. We have begun an investigation and we will try and ensure that the abductees are brought back safe and sound,” he said.

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