Again, suspected Fulani gunmen have struck in the South West of Nigeria and this time around, it was the employees and students of the Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke that fell into their hands.
However, four out of the eight people abducted by the Fulani gunmen on Tuesday, have been released.
The abductors have also demanded ransom before release the remaining four employees of the institution, who are still in their custody.
The suspected herdsmen had on Tuesday ambushed some employees of the OSCOTECH, who were returning home after the close of work at Onibonoje village, less than two kilometres from the campus of the institution.
They shot dead one Olaniyi Emmanuel of the Registry Department of the institution and abducted eight others.
Multiple security sources confirmed the release of four of the victims to our correspondent on Wednesday.
Sources in the area told our correspondent that the bandits were robbing people along the Ibokun/Ijebu Jesa Road when the vehicle conveying the poly workers and students ran into them.
A resident of Esa Oke, who was travelling on the road, Ajala Opeyemi, said, “Those people who escaped from the scene reported the robbery at the Ibokun Police Station.
“On getting to the scene, the bandits opened fire on the van carrying policemen and one of the officers was hit. His name is Akinwale Olusegun.”
Speaking to our correspondent at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, a relation of the police officer who was shot by the bandits, who preferred not to be named, said he had been moved from the Intensive Care Unit to the male ward, adding that the cop was responding to treatment.
A student of the polytechnic, Thomas Olagunju, who spoke to our correspondent on the campus of OSCOTECH on wednesday, said the bandits waylaid the workers at a bad spot on the road.
Those abducted, according to a statement by the Director of Media and Public Relations, OSCOTECH, Dr Wale Oyekanmi, are Olaleye Olalekan of the Business Adminstration Department; Adeyeoluwa Bankole, Head of Department, Civil Engineering; Dr Jesuola Ajibola, Director, OSCOTECH Ventures; Adenreti Chukwu, Secretary, Civil Engineering Department; and one Rachael Onyinocha Akinboboye of the OSCOTECH Microfinance Bank.
He added that three students, whose identities could not be immediately confirmed, were also abducted by the bandits.
Confirming the release of some of the abductees to our correspondent in a chat on the campus of the institution, the Deputy Rector, OSCOTECH, Dr Elandia Johnson, said the three students were released late on Tuesday.
He added that the abductors later released a lecturer and demanded ransom before they would release the others.
Johnson said, “The three students, who were in the vehicle with the staff members, were released last night (Tuesday). Later, a lecturer was also freed. With his release, we were able to establish contact with those who carried out the act.
“There are four staff members of the polytechnic in their custody now. Their abductors have also demanded ransom but we cannot disclose the amount now.”
A representative of the Osun State Government, Mr Oguntola Toogun, said few items picked from the scene of the abduction, including cloths and footwear of the perpetrators of the crime, suggested that they were armed Fulani men.
“We are intensifying our search for the abducted workers. Others in the custody of the abductors will be freed. We are working towards that already,” Toogun added.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, after inspecting the scene of the incident, said men of the command were combing the nearby forest to free others still in the custody of the kidnappers.