Kogi lawmaker cries out as gunmen demand N20m to release kidnap victim

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The Lawmaker representing Yagba West in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Idowu Ibikunle has cried out over the abduction of one of his constituents identified as Bukola Awo in the Ejiba area of the state.

Addressing a press conference in Lokoja on Tuesday, Hon . Ibikunle said the abductors of the girl are demanding for N20 million to release her.

He said, “Some days ago, around nine o’clock, one business girl was kidnapped in Ejiba. The gunmen shot sporadically in the air and took her to an unknown destination. I have been crying since then as I learnt they keep torturing the innocent girl in their custody. I am a father and am feeling the pains of that girl.

“The suffering is too much. We have raised about N7 million. They said until we complete the N20 million they won’t release her. Up till now, the girl is still in their custody.

“The Police, vigilantes, and other security agencies have been struggling to secure her release but it has not yielded result. They don’t know their hideout.

“Also, in Ejiba, Yagba West Local Government, on Tuesday 9th May 2024, kidnappers from a tribe not indigenous to Kogi State invaded the market, shot sporadically and kidnapped defenseless people, mostly indigenes of the local government, who have simply come to transact their petty business.

“This is different from an earlier raid and kidnap of an illustrious son in his community weeks ago. Up till now, the victims of the kidnappers have not been released. We are perturbed that most of the interior villages and forest in Kogi West Senatorial District have been overgrown and populated by herders, many of whom are of suspected herdsmen extraction and some of whom are non-Nigerians.”

He, however, commended the Kogi State Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo for his proactive steps in tackling insecurity in the state, stressing that more needs to be done to ensure that those in captivity are released unhurt.

He added, “What happened in Osara is a wake up call. Immediately, the government took action and the Students have been released by their abductors. He is doing well.

“They have kidnapped many in the northern part of the country and they have not been found. The issue of Chibok girls, train attack between Abuja to Kaduna is still fresh in our minds. As am crying out now, I am very sure the governor will do something to effect the release of the girl and other people in the kidnappers custody.”

The lawmaker admonished the
State Government to further strengthen the State Vigilante Network, adding that, with the federal law enforcement agencies, concerted efforts will be taken to combat the menace of kidnapping.

“A law on kidnapping should be enacted by the Kogi State House of Assembly as it is done in other neighbouring states. This will bring about stiffer penalties for kidnapping. The State Government. should deploy more vigilantes to the interior villages and forests. I would also advise the government to conduct enumeration, profiling and issuance of identity card and storage of biometrics of the herders within the state,” he added.

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