Akure—AS anxiety envelopes Ondo State over the spate of kidnapping, a ransom of N100 million was yesterday demanded for the release of three civil servants abducted weekend.
This is coming as some concerned groups have asked the police authorities to redeploy the State Police commissioner, Gbenga Adeyanju.
As at the time of filing in this report, the state governor Rotimi Akeredolu was at a closed-door meeting with security chiefs, traditional rulers and other stakeholders on the incessant kidnapping across the state.
No fewer than 15 people have been kidnapped, among who were lecturers of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic and the medical staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, civil servants and school children within the last one week.
Reports also had it that after payment of N4 million ransom, the kidnapped lecturer Michael Olopete, was released yesterday.
Education, Science and Technology Commissioner, Pastor Femi Agagu, confirmed the release of Olopete to newsmen in Akure.
The kidnapped civil servants are Ayewunmi Ogunsemore of the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and a couple, Bunmi Falodun, a staff of FADAMA programme and former Public Relation Officer of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees NULGE and Mrs Ronke Falodun, a civil servant.
The state President of NULGE, Taiwo Bola, confirmed that the abductors have opened a line of communication with them and that negotiation has commenced on the release of the abducted civil servants.
Bola was, however, silent on the amount demanded by the kidnappers to free the civil servants but a reliable union official confirmed the ransom fee.
Vanguard gathered that while the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo union leaders and other members of staff staged a protest and prayers for the release of Michael Olopete his kidnappers had already collected N4m and asked him to go.
An unconfirmed source said that the state government assisted in raising the ransom for the release of the lecturer to guide against his abductors killing him as they did to Akinyemi a week ago.
Recall that another senior staff of the institution Taiwo Akinyemi was murdered by the kidnappers after staying in their captivity for over a week and the ransom dropped at a location as instructed.
Academic activities were disrupted for hours as the staff protested round the institution yesterday before Olopete was released.
Meanwhile, some groups in the state have called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to redeploy the state Commissioner of Police, Gbenga Adeyanju.
The groups under the auspices of the Sunshine Liberation Front and Ondo Youths for Good Governance said the police in the state have failed in protecting the lives and properties of the people.
Reacting to the call for the removal of the commissioner of police, the state police image maker, Femi Joseph, denied the allegation against the commissioner, saying the CP had been working tirelessly to ensure criminals were flushed out of the state.
“We want to appeal to our people to take it easy with us. The CP cannot collaborate with criminals, he is a professional to the core and would never do that.
He noted that “What is happening in the state currently is a temporary setback and we will put more efforts into our operations, we will continue to do our best to send these hoodlums out of our state.