Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers engaged solders in a shootout in two different locations in Ayebode and Ilasa communities in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State on Thursday.
Police spokesman, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Friday, said the gunmen abducted three persons during the confrontation.
Mr Abutu stated that the combined forces of the military and the police rescued six other captives from the gunmen.
“The information we heard was that four persons were abducted.
“Security operatives responded swiftly to the situation and rescued six persons.
“We have begun investigation and we will try and ensure that the abductees are brought back safe and sound,’’ he said.
Though the solders foiled kidnap attempts in the two communities, three commuters were later picked up by the gunmen as they escaped into the bush.
NAN also gathered that those kidnapped were held at Ayedun-Ekiti, a town near Ayebode-Ekiti where soldiers had earlier botched a kidnap attempt.
The Thursday incident, which eyewitnesses said occurred around 10 a.m., led to desertion of the Ayedun-Ilasa-Ayebode Highway for several hours.
An eyewitness, also a victim, told newsmen in Ado Ekiti that the soldiers engaged the gunmen at two different locations – Ayebode and Ilasa and pursued them into bush to ensure that their operations didn’t succeed.
According to the source, three passengers traveling from Ayedun-Ekiti to Ilasa-Ekiti were not that lucky as the gunmen picked them up after escaping from soldiers.
The source added that those who became victims were traveling along Ayebode-Ilasa Road, when the gunmen started to shoot.
“Those who escaped the scene quickly called the nearby Army post and the troops responded swiftly.
“Two of the occupants of a vehicle that forcefully escaped the scene were hit by bullets and sustained fractures in their legs, while their car was riddled with bullets.
“The soldiers succeeded in pursuing the kidnappers into the bush, but I don’t think they were able to apprehend any of them,’’ the source said.
The shootout between the soldiers and gunmen was said to have forced motorists to quickly take detours to prevent being hit by bullets.
“It was sporadic shootings for some minutes as the soldiers engaged the kidnappers.
“The soldiers acted gallantly, but the kidnappers escaped into the bush through a secondary school in Ilasa.
“I think another gang surfaced on Ayedun-Ilasa Road and kidnapped three persons as they escaped into the bush,’’ the eyewitness said.
Amotekun Corps Arrest Suspects In Connection With Owo Church Attack
The Amotekun Corps in Ondo State have arrested a number of persons in connection with the massacre of worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
The Commander of the Corp, Adetunji Adeleye made this disclosure while addressing newsmen in Akure, the state capital.
Adeleye, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspects arrested, but the corps leader was optimistic that everyone who was involved in the Owo Attack would be brought to book.
When contacted for confirmations, the Ondo State Police Command through its spokesperson, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, said the force is not aware of such and arrest.
Nevertheless, it is expected that the Amotekun Corps would hand the suspects over to the police for further investigations and onward prosecution.
This arrest is the latest development following the attack which left millions devastated across the country.
It comes barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari assured Nigerians that the attackers who he described as “cowards” behind recent assaults on churches in the country will be punished.
“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice.
Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavor,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu.
“For now, I urge all Nigerians to come together in prayer-whether Christian, Muslim, or any of our great faiths- let us hold the victims and their families in our hearts and minds.
“Let us show the cowards who seek to divide us along religious lines that we will not be divided. Let us show them that Nigerians will continue to cherish what we share while respecting each other’s differences. Let us show them that Nigerians will never be bullied by cowards, extremists, or terrorists.”
According to President Buhari, the country’s religious freedom and diversity are what makes Nigeria great.
Owo Church killing: Ondo Govt Opens Account For Donations
The Ondo State Government has opened an account to receive donations from people who may wish to assist the victims of the terrorist attack in Owo, Ondo State.
This was made known on Wednesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State, Richard Olatunde.
He commended the donations received so far while calling on well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies willing to assist the victims of the terrorist attack may do so in the following account:
ACCOUNT NAME- ODSG- OWO TERRORIST ATTACK RELIEF FUND.
ACCOUNT NO -1401203148
BANK: PROVIDUS BANK
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has assured that the state government on its part will remain unshaken in committing its resources to the security of lives and property.
He noted that efforts are deepened to ensure that the survivors of the attack at various hospitals are given the best medical care.
Bandits Kill 32, Destroy Houses In Fresh Kaduna Attack
No fewer than 32 people have been reportedly killed by bandits in separate attacks on four communities within Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The affected communities are Ungwan Gamu, Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Maikori.
The police are yet to confirm the incident, but the District Head of Kufena, Titus Dauda , told Channels Television that the attacks occurred on Sunday and that 32 people lost their lives while a church and several houses were destroyed in the process.
He added that the bandits in their large numbers first attacked Dogon Noma in the early hours of Sunday morning, and killed several people mostly men , before proceeding to Ungwan Gamu and Maikori villages where they also killed people and burnt down houses.
The district head further disclosed that the victims have been laid to rest while the affected communities have been deserted by the residents due to fear of being attacked.
A resident of one of the communities, also claimed that a helicopter was seen shooting at the residents from the air, while the remaining bandits were on the ground to attack any fleeing residents.
However, a top security source countered the claim, saying that the military engaged the bandits both by ground and air, adding that this eventually forced the bandits to retreat.
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