Kidnappers of a Lagos monarch and first class traditional ruler in Lagos, Oba Yushau Goriola Oseni, the Oniba of Ibaland, yesterday allegedly demanded the sum of N500 million ransom as condition for his release.
Sources revealed that the police had warned family members to desist from paying any ransom to the abductors, but family members kept deaf ears and insisted they would cooperate with the kidnappers, a situation that allegedly created disaffection between the Oba’s family and the police team who have been working sleepless nights to ensure the monarch’s release.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Fatai Owoseni, who spoke with The Guardian in a telephone chat, noted that the police was still working round the clock to effect the monarch’s release.
“We are working to ensure he is released. Don’t listen to anyone spreading rumours. Police is still in force in the attempt to release the Oba and I can assure you that he would be released,” Owoseni said.
The kidnappers stormed the monarch’s palace at Iba area of Lagos around 11:30pm a week ago and took him away, escaping through the waterways.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has assured residents of government’s commitment to rescuing the kidnapped ruler of Iba land in Lagos.
The governor, who presided over an emergency Security Council meeting attended by heads of security agencies in the State during the week, noted that kidnapping would soon become a bad business for criminals in the state.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said government and all security agencies in the State are bothered about the emerging crime of kidnapping, and that efforts are on to rescue all those kidnapped recently in the state, including Oba Oseni.
“What we want to assure the people is that we are putting efforts together to ensure that not just the monarch is rescued but also other victims of kidnapping are rescued and we bring those criminals to justice,” Owoseni said.
He added that the emergency Security Council meeting was principally to holistically appraise the security issues confronting the State, as well to assure members of the public on the priority and importance that the State attached to their welfare and security.
Speaking on the spate of kidnappings in the state, Owoseni said: “All of us are bothered. As the people are bothered, government is bothered and law enforcement institutions in the State are bothered.
“We are looking at the issue of kidnapping and the only thing we can tell the good people of Lagos is that government is doing everything possible and is deploying all arsenals of the state towards ensuring that we put a stop to all these.
“I want to seize this opportunity to tell the fellows engaging in these activities to channel their energy to lawful conduct because there is no excuse to say that because they cannot vandalize the pipelines again, that is why they are resorting to all these soft targets kidnapping. “
Meanwhile, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, has appealed to the abductors of the monarch to ensure his safe release.
Adebule made the appeal yesterday while addressing journalists on the ugly incident. Adebule, who sounded optimistic that the Oba would be rescued soon and be re-united with his family and subjects, noted that as custodians of traditional norms and institution, royal fathers deserve honour and respect from all the citizens, adding that the state government is working hard with various security operatives to ensure safe rescue of the abducted Oba, appealing to his kidnappers to remember that the monarch has various duties to perform in ensuring peace and tranquility in the town.
Adebule also urged law enforcement agencies to step up their duties and ensure that the monarch is rescued unhurt.
“To the law enforcement agencies, we know they are trying which is why we have being enjoying peace in Lagos state, but they need to step up their intelligence gathering to fast track the rescue of the Oba.”
[The Guardian Nigeria]