Kidnappers collect N4m ransom, free Osun college workers
The remaining four staff members of the Osun State College of Technology (OSCOTECH), Esa Oke, kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen on Ibokun-Ijebu Jesa-Esa Oke Road on Tuesday have been released.
Sources in the institution told Saturday Tribune that the workers were released around 12.00 a.m. on Friday after the payment of undisclosed ransom demanded by their abductors.
Confirming their release to Saturday Tribune in a telephone interview, the Auditor, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), OSCOTECH chapter, Mr Adeola Salami, disclosed that “the abducted workers were released last night around 12.00 a.m.”
According to him, “two of them are lecturers in the college, including Engineer Adeyeoluwa Bankole, who is the Head of Department of Civil Engineering; Mr Olaleye Olalekan of the Business Administration Department. Others are Rachael Onyinocha Akinboboye of OSCOTECH Microfinance Bank and our Director of Pension.”
Salami, a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the college, added that “they have not resumed duty. All of them are still at the police station at Elege, Esa Oke. We are about to move them to their various houses.”
Asked if ransoms were paid before the victims regained their freedoms, he said “I will not be able to disclose if ransom was paid before their release. I do not know.”
Another source however told Saturday Tribune that a ransom of N4m was paid to the abductors.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Osun State police command, Mrs Folasade Odoro, said efforts were on to arrest the kidnappers.
How Oyetola’s intervention aided their release
Findings by Saturday Tribune indicated that immediately after the incident on Tuesday evening Governor Oyetola called an emergency meeting of top officers of the security agencies, including the Police, the Army, the Nigerian Security and Cvil Defence Corps (NSDC) and brainstormed on effective strategies which culminatied in the release of the victims.
In another development, Fulani herdsmen have destroyed farms worth about N10 billion in Adamawa State.
The situation is now said to have rendered the farm owners stranded and unable to repay loans they collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for massive agricultural production.
The victims, beneficiaries of the Federal Government-sponsored agric-based loans from the CBN under the auspices of Tallafa Multipurpose Cooperative Society, are said to have been incapacitated to meet the deadline to repay the loans.
Those who collected the loans, it was gathered, have become victims of herdsmen attacks, rendering their work useless as thousands of cows have feasted on their farms.
“They have called on the CBN to extend the loan repayment date so that the farmers can meet up in 2022.
“They are pleading for the extension of the terms of repayment following herders/farmers crisis that claimed lives and farmlands overtaken by the cattle rearers worth more than N10 billion,” a source said.
Similarly, a credible source informed our correspondent that Oyetola also ordered that medical support should be given to the victims before they were re-united with their families.