Nigeria: Kidnappers Making Millions of Naira in Ogun Communities, OPC Alleges

17 May 2021

A frontline Yoruba militia group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), yesterday indicated that close to N200 million might have been made within two months by armed Fulani herdsmen, who have occupied many Ogun State communities, kidnapping for ransom.

In a statement made available to THISDAY by the state Coordinator of OPC, Chief Adesina Jimoh, the group said it was now clear that the security agents could no longer handle the situation.

Jimoh stated that the OPC was set to serve as an alternative platform to secure lives and property in the state, and would from now on repel the headers "fire for fire, and violence for violence."

He quoted a report in the media that the killer herders "collected the sum of N34.5 million in three separate operations carried out in one week in Ogun State."

The OPC leader also cited another publication which stated: "The kidnappers suspected to be herdsmen reportedly collected over N30 million from the eight victims in three separate operations carried out in different parts of the state.

"Recall also that around the second week of March 2021, two female students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Aiyetoro campus, were kidnapped and paid the sum of N50 million."

He added that a female teacher, a female nurse and her guests were also recently kidnapped at the Ijebu Igbo axis of the state, in which several millions of naira were paid as ransom to secure their release.

Jimoh further lamented that at the Olubo village on the Abeokuta-Aiyetoro-Imeko/Afon road in early April this year, a medical doctor and a nurse were abducted, and that a month after, their relatives could only pay N4.5 million ransom before they could regain freedom.

The OPC leader said one of the instances showing that the situation at hand was too enormous for the police alone to handle was the gale of kidnappings that occurred barely 48 hours after the state police command recently paraded 16 suspected kidnappers.

"It is worrisome to note that barely 48 hours after these criminals were paraded at the police headquarters in Eleweran, Abeokuta, four other people-three market women and a driver-were also kidnapped at a spot near Olubo village on the same Imeko/Afin-Aiyetoro-Abeokuta in the Yewa North Local Government Area of the state," he recounted.

Jimoh noted that it was evident that the series of attacks, kidnapping and rape cases could be traced to the Fulani herders, and that the situation had ethnic undertone.

"Report has it that though the victims (of the Olugbo village kidnap) were selected in random, however, Hausa/Fulani women, who were inside the same vehicle conveying those victims, were released during the operation," he said.

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