Residents of Ajebamidele area of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, were on Tuesday evening, thrown into a state of intense fear as suspected kidnappers invaded the community and abducted a couple and two others.
The incident which took place in Goshen Land Community in Ajebamidele had left residents in shock with economic and social activities paralyzed.
The kidnap incident sparked a massive protest Wednesday morning with the angry residents blocking the Ado-Ikere Highway for about three hours and rendered commuters and those going to work stranded.
The protesters claimed that the kidnappers called earlier on Wednesday to demand a ransom of N10 million before their victims are released.
Among those said to have been kidnapped in the attack which occurred at about 6.30 pm on Tuesday included a couple, a pastor and one other resident whose identity could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report.
The kidnappers were said to have trailed one of the victims, one Mrs. Falomo to her house shortly after she arrived home in her car amidst heavy gunshots.
The gunshots attracted her husband who was said to have come out to confront the armed kidnappers but he was overpowered and also abducted at gunpoint.
The gunmen kidnapped two other victims amidst heavy shooting while making their way from the community with frightened residents scampering for safety.
A resident, Engr. Emmanuel Ayodeji, who disclosed that his sister-in-law was among those kidnapped disclosed that the abductors have called the family to demand for a ransom of N10 million.
Ayodeji said: “My sister-in-law was among those and they packed to this area about one month ago. We were told on arrival that the kidnappers came to abduct husband and wife from their home.
“The wife arrived home with her car and they trailed her from outside and those people were armed with guns. The husband confronted them but he was overpowered and they abducted him as well.
“It was this morning that I later got to know that two more persons were kidnapped during the attack including a pastor and a woman. The kidnappers later called this morning to demand for a ransom of N10 million.”
The Chairman of Goshen Landlords Association, Mr Samuel Fasua, said the protest was staged to draw the attention of government to the incident for the authorities to do something urgent to save the beleaguered residents.
Fasua said: “I was called suddenly when an okada rider who witnessed the incident raised an alarm that armed kidnappers were already in the neighborhood. That was why we called the Police to rescue us.
“According to the information we gathered, the kidnappers were many in number and they were masked. Nobody could come out to rescue the victims because of the heavy gunfire that rocked our neighbourhood during the incident.
“Guns boomed as if the place was a war zone and that was why we had to call the Police because we believe they could confront those criminals. The matter had already been reported to the police station.”
The protesting residents decried the level of insecurity in the land and called on both federal and state governments to urgently do something to save them from criminals.
Some of their placards read “Save Us From Kidnappers,” “We Are No Longer Safe, Government Come To Our Rescue,” “Ajebamidele On Fire, Kidnappers Have Taken Over,” “No Movement On The Road Until Government Stops Kidnapping,” “Citizens Are No Longer Safe, What Is Happening,” “Security Is A Dividend of Democracy, Give It To Us,” “Ajebamidele Must Be Free From Kidnappers and Robbers,” among others.
There was a massive rows of vehicles on both sides of the Ado-Ikere highway with police officers appealing to the protesting residents to allow a free flow of traffic which they rebuffed.
The road was reopened for traffic at about 10.05am after the Police had succeeded to convince the protesters to allow traffic to resume.