Ilorin, a State Capital Turning into Kidnappers’ Den?
Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, is gradually becoming a den of horror and terror, going by the spate of kidnappings recorded in the town, in recent times, PRNigeria can report.
The city is said to be calm, peaceful and welcoming until the recent infiltration of kidnappers, whose illicit activities have incited palpable apprehension many among residents.
Its neighbouring states of Kogi, Niger, Oyo and even Nasarawa, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina have been contending with daily activities of armed bandits and kidnappers.
On Tuesday, a 46-year-old Tipper owner, Alhaji Musa Garba Atere, was reportedly kidnapped along Ogundele/Madi road in Ilorin West Local Government.
Atere was on his way to the Ilorin General Hospital, along with his wife and his eight-year-old daughter who was critically sick for medical treatment, when the daredevil criminals struck and whisked him away.
Similarly, a female student of the Kwara State University, KWASU, was recently kidnapped while on her way to school. A two million naira ransom was paid before she regained her freedom.
There was also the case of a doctor who was abducted while on a medical outreach to Ogundele community, and other adjoining villages.
In the wake of rising kidnapping cases, Kwara Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Lawal Bagega, few weeks ago, convened an extraordinary security meeting to find a lasting solution to the problem of growing insecurity in the State.
Bagega said it was in a bid to ensure a more proactive policing of the entire Kwara State, and people living in the State, that the meeting was convened.
The meeting was attended by Area Commanders, Heads of Tactical Units and Divisional Police Officers.
Meanwhile, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, while reacting to the development, said government has since activated all mechanisms to protect lives and properties.
This, he said, includes organizing constant engagement and empowerment programmes for various stakeholders such ad security agencies, community leaders, traditional institutions, vigilante and hunters, and economic groups like farmers and herders, to draw up and implement new strategies on how to keep everyone safe.
Worried by the trend, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union, IEDPU, in a statement signed by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Abdullateef Oniyo, described the situation as a “threat to the prevailing peace and harmony enjoyed in the State.”
Oniyo cited the heats being faced by the criminals in the South Western region of the country as one of the reasons why they find solace in Ilorin.
According to him, “the fact that criminals are facing repeated heat in the south western region, they appear to be trooping into Kwara State in order to continue with their criminality.”
He charged the state actors and security agencies to intensify efforts in curtailing the horrendous activities of the kidnappers, before they get worse.
He further stressed the need for residents to be more vigilant and report any suspected movement of strangers to constituted authorities.