‘Bus Driver Abandoned us For Kidnappers,’ – Rescued Victims Narrate Ordeal

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Ondo state map
Ondo state map

The three kidnap detainees recovered by the Ondo State Security Network Agency, commonly known as Amotekun Corps, have blamed their bus driver for facilitating their kidnapping.

The victims who were among 12 passengers kidnapped and dragged into the bush by robbers onWednesday along the dangerous section of the Ifira Akoko -Ido Ani Expressway, were rescued by the Amotekun Corps on Friday.

The three victims, Benjamin Ojoga, Omolara Fajana, and Faith Sunday, who were rejoined with their families on Saturday at the Amotekun headquarters in Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, said that the bus driver ignored them and raced away after the kidnappers started shooting into the air.

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Benjamin Ojoga, one of the rescued victims, said the gunmen attacked when the passengers landed from the bus to allow it to move freely on a bad stretch of road in Ifira-Akoko, claiming that the driver’s decision made it easy for the kidnappers to abduct them because they were unfamiliar with the route.

He said, “It was after the gunshots that the driver of the bus zoomed off which gave the kidnappers the opportunity to abduct us. I got injured from the beating the kidnappers gave me. They were saying that I’m a ‘force man’ and I told them I’m not. But they didn’t believe me.
Another victim, Omolara Fajana, Narrating her experience at the kidnappers’ den, stated that the driver asked them to alight from the bus to enable it to move smoothly on a bad portion of the road.

She said, “On that day, we were coming from Abuja and heading for Lagos. Shortly after leaving Ibilo, our bus got stuck on a bad portion. After spending about three to four hours getting the bus out, we continued the journey.

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“On getting to Ifira-Akoko, we saw another bad portion and the driver told us to alight so that the bus would be lighter and to enable it to move easily. Immediately we alighted from the bus, we heard gunshots and everybody became jittery. At that moment, the bus zoomed off and the gunmen were able to abduct four of us. One of us, an old woman limping, was allowed to go but they collected her phone.

“The incident happened around 6:30 pm. Then, they made us walk for about three hours inside the bush. The kidnappers spoke pidgin English and they appeared to be herdsmen.

Chief Adetunji Adeleye, the Amotekun Commander in the state, spoke about the rescue mission, saying that the force had been working hard to catch the perpetrators.

Adeleye stated, “After we secured the release of the first nine, my men continued to comb the forest which is massive. It is the same forest that extends to some parts of Kogi State.

“We started tracking them and once they started maintaining contact with the victim’s families, we also commenced tracking up to the point we gave them a hot chase and we were able to secure the victims’ release. “

However, the Commander stated that no arrests had been made as they were working on the case with the police and the Department of State Services.

“It is a synergy of all security agencies, we are just taking the lead,” the Amotekun boss noted.

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