ONDO, (iexclusivenews) – On Friday, September 29, 2023, a shocking incident occurred in Ondo State, Nigeria. A group of 25 Christian worshippers, who were travelling for a burial programme, were abducted by suspected gunmen on Ifon road.
The worshippers are members of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Oke Igan, in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State.
They were on their way to Ifon Ose Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, where they were supposed to attend the burial ceremony of a fellow church member.
According to a source from the church, who spoke to The Gazette on the condition of anonymity, the kidnappers ambushed the bus that was carrying the worshippers and forced them to alight.
They then marched them into the bush at gunpoint.
The source said that most of the abducted worshippers are choir members of the church.
He also said that the church authorities have contacted the families of the victims and are praying for their safe return.
The Police Response and Investigation
The Ondo State Police Command has confirmed the kidnapping incident and said that it is working hard to rescue the victims and apprehend the perpetrators.
The police spokesperson, Funmi Odunlami-Omisanya, said in a statement to reporters that the police were informed that a church bus with the inscription CAC was abandoned around the Elegbeka area of Ifon on Friday afternoon.
She also said that there are suspicions that the passengers in the vehicle were kidnapped.
However, She revealed that the police have deployed its anti-kidnapping squad and other tactical units to track down the kidnappers and rescue the worshippers.
She assured the public that the police are on top of the situation and will update them as soon as possible.
“The incident happened Friday afternoon, the police were informed that a Church bus with the Inscription CAC was abandoned around the Elegbeka area and there are also suspicions that the passengers in the vehicle were kidnapped.
But we are already on the trail of the kidnappers with the view to rescue the abducted victims.
Our men from the Anti-kidnapping squad are combing the bush already,” she said.
The History of Kidnapping on Ifon Road
The kidnapping of 25 Christian worshippers is not an isolated case on Ifon road. The road, which connects Ondo State with Edo State, has been notorious for frequent cases of kidnappings and robberies in recent years.
Many travellers and motorists have fallen victim to armed bandits who operate on the road with impunity.
Some of the victims have been killed or injured, while others have been held for ransom or released after paying huge sums of money.
Just two weeks ago, two businessmen who were travelling from Ifon to Edo State were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on the same road.
Their abductors later demanded N100 million for their release.
The two victims were eventually rescued by a joint operation of security agencies, including the Amotekun Corps, a regional security outfit in southwestern Nigeria.
The frequent kidnappings on Ifon road have raised serious concerns among residents and travellers alike.
Many have called on the government and security agencies to intensify efforts to secure the road and protect lives and properties.
They have also urged travellers to be vigilant and cautious when using the road.
Source: (Peoples Gazette)
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