Residents of Obada, a town near Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, have raised alarm over serial kidnapping in the community for the past three weeks.
One of the residents of the community, who pleaded anonymity, told Newsbreak that the peaceful Obada has become kidnappers den as close to 100 residents have been kidnapped, adding that ransoms have been paid.
The resident lamented that they now live in fear in the community as kidnappers now break into their homes and religious centres.
“From the ongoing rumour making rounds the community, they have kidnapped about 100 residents here in Obada because they kidnap on a daily basis. It is as serious as the kidnappers going into houses and churches to kidnap. This has been happening for about three weeks now if not more than. We can’t sleep at night like we used to,” the resident said.
“They invade the community in groups with heavy ammunition I don’t think our policemen have. They recently invaded a church, kidnapped five people and from what I heard they collected over two million naira. Those kidnappers are not living in the community. From close relations that are survivors, they confirmed they aren’t speaking Yoruba language and are suspected Fulani herdsmen.
“From what I heard, one of the survivors I know said the herdsmen tell them they are about 1000 hiding in isolated places in Obada and will be dealt with if they raise unnecessary alarm . the policemen were here and from those they engaged, we heard they are encouraging them to bargain with the kidnappers. The policemen did absolutely nothing.
“For now, the landlords have been holding security meetings to employ security in the environment.
Another resident, a landlord in the Obada community, told our correspondent that the situation is terrible, to the extent that landlords in the community now hold meetings to gather money to employ personnel to act as security in the community.
He said: “Kidnapping in Obada at the moment is something very serious and calls for emergency. We live in fear. I just called my family to know their movement and keep telling my wife not to stay out late. Sometimes, if I know I will be staying out late I won’t bother to go home.
“Myself and fellow landlords have been holding meetings to get security personnel. We contacted So Safe Corps (approved Ogun State vigilante) and to our surprise, we were told that they don’t have enough personnel on ground. We are considering other security personnel but when money is not around we dare not plan anything. But we are working on something.
“Like I told my neighbours, it is not about getting security, besides, from the look of things, these kidnappers are fully armed. We pray God will help us.”