Our correspondent recalls that the four staff of the institution, who were kidnapped included the Chairman of the Academic Staff of Polytechnics (ASUP), Mr. Opadijo Oluyide, Secretary of the union, Mr. Gbenga Alayande, two other staff of the institution and wife of one of the victims. On Saturday that Olujide, Alayande and two other staff of the institution along with wife of one of the victims were kidnapped while coming from a meeting which was held in Saki on Thursday.
They were on Thursday evening kidnapped along Iseyin-Igbo Ora Road, on their way back from a meeting of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of unions in all the six Oyo state owned tertiary institutions, held at the Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki. It was, however, confirmed on Saturday that the abductors have contacted family members of the victims and have demanded the sum of one hundred million naira for the release of each of the victims.
An official of JAC, who asked not be be named, informed that the abductors called the families on Friday and demanded for a ransom of N500 million for the release of the five persons. He added that the abductors demanded the sum of one hundred million naira for the release of each of the victims. The JAC member while speaking on Saturday, however, added that JAC will not make further revelation since the state commissioner of Police, Mr. Shina Olukolu has promised to take over the matter.
JAC, DAILY POST recalls was formed in 2017 by all the staff unions in the six Oyo state owned tertiary institutions, following the reduction of subventions for the institutions to 25 percent by the administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi. It was learnt that the JAC meeting in Saki was called to discuss the modalities on how the incumbent administration of Governor Seyi Makinde, would pay the outstanding salaries arrears, being owed workers in the Oyo tertiary institutions, ranging from between six to eighteen months.
A source at the Oke – Ogun Polytechnic Saki, informed that the meeting ended by 4.00p.m on Thursday, and that as delegates from different institutions began to depart to their various destinations, it was discovered the Toyota Sienna bus that conveyed the Igbo Ora delegates was faulty.
He said, “The Igbo Ora people said they would manage to return to their station with the vehicle. They left Saki around 4.30p.m. We learnt the vehicle was giving them problem on the road, but they were managing themselves. They even had a stop over at Iseyin, to pick a wife to one of the delegates.
“After leaving Iseyin around 7.00p.m, we were told that the eventually broke down along Iseyin-Maya-Igbo Ora road. By that time it was around 8.00p.m, and they were close to Igbo Ora already. So, they called one of their people in Igbo Ora to come with another vehicle to convey them”.
It will be recalled that the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mrs. Opeyemi Olawoore had also confirmed that the abductors have demanded for ransom though, she did not state the amount being requested for from the families by the kidnappers.
Olawoore while confirming the abduction, said that the institution decided to keep mum over the matter of ransom due to “security reasons”. She said, “Of course, they have contacted the family members. But, I can’t say that this is the amount of money demanded by the kidnappers to secure their release. The security operatives in the state are aware. We don’t want to make it a media issue. We are being careful on this matter.”
But, Public Relations Officer (PPO) of the state police command, Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, when contacted however said he was not aware of the demand for a N500 million ransom. Fadeyi said, “I have not been updated about the development. What I know is that police are seriously working on the issue, and we are on top of the situation. Just yesterday, the CP was personally at the scene for an on – the – spot assessment. He went there with his strategic officers. We will soon ensure the release of the people”.