Again, gunmen abduct seven in Epe

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LAGOS, NOVEMBER 29, 2016 – Gunmen in military uniform have abducted seven people at a farm in Epe area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

It was reported that about 20 gunmen stormed the Kodjo Farm, located at Igbodu, Epe area on Sunday and abducted seven people.

One of the victims is Kakaja Joseph, a 65-year old man, four poultry workers of Kodjo Farm and two travellers.

The guard and four poultry workers were abducted after the kidnappers attacked Kodjo Farm. But the two travellers were taken after the militants embarked on a second operation, which witnessed them blocking a transit road.

On Monday, the kidnappers attempted to abduct students of Molajoye Community High School on the assembly ground, but policemen attached to Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Area N Police Command, Navy and Army foiled the abduction.

Eye witnesses said that the gunmen stormed the poultry at about 8am on Sunday and shot several times in the air and took away their victims in a waiting boat while they took away several chickens and eggs.

The kidnappers, armed with sophisticated guns, allegedly blocked a road along Igbodu, where they engaged law enforcement officers in a gun duel.

People were said to have scampered into the bush in different directions. Many of them were also alleged to have spent the night in the bush.

According to a poultry worker who craved anonymity, “After kidnapping the poultry workers, the gunmen went to Molajoye Expressway and kidnapped two travelers. Some of the occupants of the bus sustained injuries.”

On November 15, gunmen, numbering over 40, had invaded a farm settlement in Epe, also located on Igbodu-Isiwo Road, Lagos and kidnapped four farmers.

According to Isaiah Joseph, son of the abducted guard: “Since our father was kidnapped, we’ve been running from pillar to post, to secure his release. When he left home on Saturday, we expected him back on Sunday for church service. We waited with our mother, but he didn’t show up. We decided to go to the farm to check on him. We were told by one of the engineers that he had been abducted, along with four workers.”

He said the management of the poultry had assured them that they would make efforts to secure his release soon.

“We’re still waiting for him to return, but our major concern is his health. He’s old. We don’t know how they are treating him,” he said.

The Baale of Igbodu, Chief Oguntayo Abiodun, said “we were still discussing the kidnap of the guard and poultry workers, when we got news about the attempted abduction of Molajoye students. On Saturday, there was serious commotion in the community when the gunmen confronted men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) in a gun battle. The sporadic shooting lasted for about 29 minutes.

“We’re appealing to the state government and the police to provide regular patrol of the community. Some of the local vigilante men cannot confront the gunmen because of the sophisticated weapons they carry.

Some investors in the community have started relocating due to the incessant abductions of farmers and workers in the community. Farmers these days fear to go to work.”

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