Nigeria: 32 Passengers Feared Abducted in Ondo

…Police confirm 11, say 2 victims rescued

No fewer than 32 passengers returning from a burial ceremony in Benin, Edo State were reportedly abducted along Owo/Benin highway, weekend.

But, the state police command said 11 people were abducted and that it rescued two of the victims.

Vanguard gathered that the kidnappers waylaid a convoy of three vehicles at lfon, in Ose council area of the state.

The kidnappers reportedly stopped the coaster bus, which led the convey while other people in the two other buses, who noticed happenings ahead, jumped down from the vehicle and fled into the bush on the highway.

One of those that escaped from the bus informed newsmen that it was a terrible experience.

He said: “We were coming from Benin, in Edo State, when we got to lfon, our driver noticed that the coaster bus which was ahead of us suddenly stopped and our people were alighting from the bus one after the other.

“He notified us in the vehicle and we were on alert, when he moved nearer, he said the picture ahead showed that kidnappers were operating.

“Our driver applied the brakes and informed the bus behind us of what he suspected was happening to our people in the coaster bus.

“We were able to jump out of the vehicles and fled into the bushes on the highway.

“The kidnappers were able to march our people into the bush and we have not heard from them since Saturday when they were abducted.

“No fewer than 32 persons were in the bus. We don’t know how many were abducted. Many of our people, who ran into the bush, have not been seen or yet to come out because of fear.

“Those of us who summoned the courage to come out hours after had serious injuries all over our body.

“We lost many valuables while running. Thank God we escaped and we pray that those kidnapped would regain their freedom unhurt.”

Contacted, the state commander of the security outfit codenamed Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, who confirmed the incident, however, said those abducted were not up to that number.

Adeleye did not give the actual number of the victims in the kidnappers’ den.

“We are currently combing the Benin-Ifon to Owo forest in Ondo State in search of the persons reportedly kidnapped in a coaster bus,” he said.

Meanwhile, security operatives combing the bush have reportedly rescued two of the victims while the search was still on for other victims

Speaking with Vanguard, the state police command spokesperson, Funmi Odunlami, said: “It was 11 persons that were kidnapped. We have rescued some of them and our men are still in the bush.”

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