32 travelers missing as kidnappers attack two passenger buses in Ekiti

The police command in Ekiti cannot account for the whereabouts of 32 persons as kidnappers seized two buses transiting through the state on Monday.

Confirming the incident, the police spokesperson in the state, Sunday Abutu, said the abduction took place on the Ayetoro Ekiti – Otun Ekiti Road in Moba local government area of the state.

At least four persons, 32 remain missing, Mr Abutu said, adding that the police had “begun to unravel those behind the abduction and efforts were being made to rescue the victims.”

According to him, “It is true there was a kidnap on Monday morning along that axis. We heard the information, and we have deployed our personnel there.

“It began on Sunday evening when some suspected robbers attacked a man who the police thereafter rescued. But this morning, we learnt that the suspects were the ones who abducted some road users. The police are on their trail,” he said.

Eyewitnesses said the victims were taken into the bush by the gun-wielding men.

The kidnappers attacked two buses conveying passengers from Otun-Ekiti, took four, while other passengers jumped out of the vehicles and fled in different directions.

One of those who escaped told residents that the gunmen took away four passengers from the two buses.

Another source said hunters in the area were informed of the incident and they promised to go after the kidnappers.

“Before they got to the scene, the gunmen had driven or pushed the two buses into the bush. At that point, we cannot say the number of people taken into the forest, but the buses are still there as we speak.

“I advised the hunters and security agents who arrived at the scene that the kidnappers would have gone towards the Otun Ekiti end and that they would not have gone far that time.

“Definitely, they are the ones who operated on Ayetoro-Ewu Road on Sunday evening too.

“That of Sunday operation was not successful, and perhaps that is why they visited again to carry out this one,” the source said.

“On that Sunday evening, they attacked commercial motorcyclists by shooting sporadically into the air to scare people.

“A commercial motorcyclist was stopped at gunpoint and they took all his valuables, while another motorcyclist escaped into the bush.

“The kidnappers fled when they noticed that the other commercial motorcyclist had escaped. We never knew they would continue their onslaught today, Monday,” the source added.

Several people have been abducted either on their farms, their homes, places of business or while travelling through the state. About five lives have been lost during the various attacks.

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