Suspected militants again struck in Epe, Lagos State yesterday and abducted four people.
The incident was coming barely a day after farmers from Epe village, Lagos stormed the office of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in protest of incessant abduction of their members.
The police were however reported to have risen to the situation by repelling the attackers and rescuing those abducted and others kidnapped earlier, who were found chained in the bush by the militants.
A resident of Epe, Mutiu Olawole said: “This morning, kidnappers believed to be militants stormed our area and abducted four persons. I don’t know how the police got information and raced to the scene. The police engaged the hoodlums in a fierce gun battle.
“I think three persons, including two policemen were shot dead. But, the four kidnapped victims and four others that were chained in the creek were rescued by the police.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who confirmed the attack on the community said: “Yes, kidnappers stormed the area and abduct four persons, but they were repelled by my men. The good news is that the police were able to rescue the victims. The police, also, rescued four others who were initially abducted.
“There is a rumour making round that two of my policemen were killed. It is not true. None of my policemen was killed. We have taken count of my policemen who went for the operation, and none is missing. The hoodlums tried their luck, but they failed. They were repelled. We are on ground and we won’t give them chance to succeed.”
Hundreds of farmers had protested Monday morning, alleging that 50 of their members had so far been kidnapped and several millions paid as ransom.
The protesters also alleged that they had met the Commissioner of Police, but the police were helpless, as the kidnappers operate unchallenged. They called on the state governor to take decisive action and save them from the hands of the kidnappers.
The state Governor, who spoke through the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, assured the farmers of the government’s readiness to tackle the scourge of kidnapping by providing adequate security to ensure safety of life and property.