CITIZENS COMPASS —Apprehension on Sunday, December 10, 2023, enveloped residents and road users along the Igbe-Laara Road, Igbogbo-Baiyeku in Ikorodu Division, Lagos State, following the whereabouts of a couple, Mr and Mrs Tijani, who were said to be kidnapped in Afa axis of the road.
Information gathered at the scene of the incident revealed that the couple were kidnapped on Thursday, November 30, 2023, but ten days after, there was panic among residents and road users.
The Road is among some fortunate roads being rehabilitated by the state government although many residents have complained about the slow pace of work saying kidnappers may strike anytime.
Residents said Police presence is usually felt at day time along the road but it’s a different story at night.
At day time, Afa is usually a busy axis with palm wine lovers at one side and people bathing in water to seek solution to their spiritual challenges on the other side but the road is usually lonely at night.
According to residents, a case of kidnapping occurred on November 20, 2023, around Holy Ghost area in Oloja, a stone’s throw from Afa where a man was kidnapped right at the entrance of his compound.
Information gathered by Citizens Compass, revealed that the man (naneswitheld) was driving home from work and the journey was smooth until he arrived at the entrance of his house where three men swooped on him and whisked him away.
He was said to be taken through the swamp to another location where many other other people have fallen victims 9f kidnapping.
After days of captivity, he was said to have regained his freedom after the sum of N5m was paid as ransom.
As for the Tijanis, it was learnt that they were kidnapped at about 8p.m on the fateful day.
A resident of Afa, Messir Quham Odugbemi told our correspondent that the couple were kidnapped when their vehicle slowed down at a bad portion of the road.
According to him, they were driving home in their car with their child seated at the back seat but the suspected kidnappers went away with the couple leaving the child at his own risk.
The couple were kidnapped on their way home at about 8.p.m. Both are devout Muslims and the community is saddened about the kidnap.
“ It’s like the kidnappers were waiting at the bad spot but it could not be ascertained if the couple were a target or the suspects decided to kidnap them (the couple) when they missed their original target. “
A road user simply identified as Ms Nkwocha said she may stop plying the road for fear of the unknown. “This road is no longer safe and I may stop plying it if nothing is done concerning insecurity.
“Police are usually here at day time but residents are left to their fate especially at night.”
As at Sunday, information at the disposal of Citizens Compass has it that the suspected kidnappers have contacted the affected families to demand N10m ransom.
Similarly, the youths in the area have begun sensitisation programmes on insecurity.
One of the youths who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Police were duly informed about the incident.
He said one of the measures adopted by residents is know your neighbours aporoach as well as arriving home as early as possible.
Contacted, spokesperson, Lagos State Police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin said he will get back to Citizens Compass.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Igbogbo-Baiyeku Local Council Development Area(LCDA), Olusesan Mayokun Daini described the incident as unfortunate saying efforts are ungoing to ensure adequate security in the LCDA.
He said, “We are in contact with all security agencies and intelligence gathering is going on.
On the kidnapped victims, we are doing our best to rescue them.
“Not only this, we are trying our best to ensure that such does not occur in our community and Lagos State as a whole.
“This is a top security issue and I don’t want to disclose our plans and strategies but I urge residents to remain calm and speak out whenever they notice unusual happenings.
See something, say something
” They should contact us through the traditional rulers, Joint Taskforce (JTF), Police and my direct line or any other means.
Those behind insecurity are not ghosts but we need the support of people to expose them.
“I can assure you that we are doing our best and the state government and federal security agencies are on top of it to ensure that this is nipped in the bud.”
At press time, the Head of the Joint Taskforce in Ikorodu was unavailable for comment.