Suspected abductors of Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Folorunso Olabode, have demanded N30 million as ransom for his release.
It was gathered that they made contact with the family of the commissioner on Monday.
Mr Olabode was abducted Sunday evening along Isan-Iludun road at Ilejemeje local government area by gunmen who also shot dead a councillor of Elejemeje local council.
Another occupant of the car they were travelling in was also abducted along with the commissioner.
Although the police said they were not aware of the development, a family source who would not want to be named, told journalists in Ekiti on Monday that the kidnappers called the family and made the demand for the ransom.
“The entire Iye Ekiti is troubled now, we are worried and we have started negotiation with the abductors. We pray they release him sound and safe,” he said.
“We don’t want to lose such an illustrious son and we are begging the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and all the security apparatuses of government to do all within their powers to rescue him alive.”
However, police spokesperson in the state, Sunday Abutu, said the police and other security agencies were combing the forest being used for hostage taking by bandits.
Mr Abutu said that there was no truth in the information that Iludun-Isan highway had been closed for security reason.
He said the police were not aware of any negotiation on the demand made by the abductors, but assured that every security measure would be put in place to secure Mr Olabode’s release.
“We are not aware that the bandits were requesting for any ransom, we have not been told,” he said.
“The police have begun serious security checks in that axis and that might be responsible for why the people said the road had been closed.
“We only took strict security measures.”
There are fears that the development might be a signal of a return to the era of kidnapping in the area given that most of the routes are largely abandoned due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Ekiti State Government, while reacting to the kidnap on Sunday, said it had given directives for the rescue of the victims and the that the perpetrators be brought to justice.