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Gunmen kidnap four travellers in Ekiti, demand N20m ransom

Gunmen on Thursday kidnapped four travellers at Oke Ako-Irele Road in the Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

The incident occurred at about 7.30pm, with the kidnappers demanding N20 million ransom.

Those abducted were said to be occupants of a commercial car and mini-truck conveying charcoal towards the border.

The victims were ambushed at a pothole-ridden portion of the road that links to Ekiti and Kogi borders.

The driver, who is from Ipao Ekiti, and a passenger were abducted from the commercial vehicle; the mini-truck driver and his assistant were taken away.

A source added that the communities in Ekamefa, comprising Irele, Ijowa, Oke Ako, Ipao, Itapaji and Iyemero were living in fear of the kidnappers.

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said the police were overstretched, understaffed and cannot adequately secure the people.

He said there was the need to have state police to effectively secure lives and property.

The governor spoke while hosting the new Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 17, AIG Yunnus Mohammed Akeera.

Akeredolu noted that the demand for state police was because a single police command in Abuja could not adequately secure the country.

He said: ”As you know, Zone 17 is probably one of the newest. When the Zone was created the State Government had to shoulder a lot of responsibilities. When we got you a location, we had to renovate it.

“We do not run away from the fact that the Police are overstretched. The same thing, we do not run away from the fact that a single police command in Abuja will not be adequate to police the large populace of the country. This has led to our demand for State Police.

“We can complement each other. I have had senior police officers who agree with the need for state police. Maybe they can’t say it in the public.

“Go to Ekiti and even here in Ondo State, most of the Police Stations have no vehicle. Look at the unfortunate incident that happened in Owo, Police said they had no vehicle to pursue the perpetrators.

“Let us all sit down and agree that we should have a system that will create a division of labour. We can have the Federal Police and then, the State Police. You can face up major task like intelligence gathering and pass it to the State Police to work on.

“What is happening, if not for lack of intelligence people will not go to Kuje and attack the place in Abuja. We need your cooperation too in this our cry for a dual Police System that we can work together

“People are moving down south to take refuge in our forest. You don’t have the men and officers to secure the country. The police are understaffed. We appreciate your limitations in terms of men, ammunition and so on.”

Akeera said he would carry on with the good work the Governor has done on security and deepen it.

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