Armed men on Sunday night invaded another Ekiti community around 10.30pm. The abductors took away a prominent Fulani leader, Uthman Muhammad Jamiu. Sources revealed that the armed men, about ten of them stormed Akinlabi camp in the night, shot sporadically into the air before taking away Pa Jamiu who is about 80 years old.The incidence is the second in one week that kidnappers would strike around the same place in Ekiti State. No ransom has been demanded by the abductors as at press time.
Akinlabi camp is located between Itapaji-Ekiti and Omu-Ekiti in the Northern area of the agrarian state. Sources hinted our correspondent that it was the second time Pa Jamiu would be kidnapped; the first time being in 2015 when abductors killed one of his aides before whisking him away.
Pa Jamiu is of Fulani stock from Ilorin but his generation had lived in the community for centuries. Pa Jamiu speaks only Yoruba and is married with many children. In 2015, sources said he paid N1.5m as ransom to secure his release from kidnappers’ den.
Last week, kidnappers had stormed Itapaji Ekiti where they took away six people, three men and three women. The victims coughed out N2.1m to secure their freedom on Friday night.
‘This is disturbing. It’s quite worrisome. The cases took place around the same time in the same area”, Chief Ganiyu Shittu of Itapaji told our correspondent.
An indigene of the town, Chief Nuru Najeem said he was once accosted by abductors adding that he was lucky to have escaped. Najeem said the kidnapper appear to be operating from Kogi State. ‘It seems they always come from Kogi State into Ekiti. This may explain the reason why they keep their victims in the forest in Kogi State.’
He said the State Governors no matter the high expectations of the people remain helpless due to their lack of capacity and other constitutional retrain. “The Ekiti State Governor I’m sure is deeply concerned. But what can they do when the Federal Government is in full control of security while Amotekun has not been allowed to be empowered” Najeem said.
A security source in Abuja said the Federal Government should be held responsible for the wave of kidnapping across the country. He said states that seek to buy drones to monitor and track kidnappers have to apply to the office of the National Security Adviser, (NSA) adding that such requests are cobwebbed by bureaucracy and internal politics. “Ekiti has one of the best security architecture in Nigeria. Crime is very low, but we must admit there is a new threat of external incursion to the state which is expected, given the fact that Ekiti is now the main route to the trans-Lagos –Abuja travelers and the state has been hosting thousands of people displaced from crisis prone areas in the Middle Belt and the North. This will affect the cultural and sociological pattern of a small but peaceful state like Ekiti’ the security official who does not wish to be named.