Eight people travelling in a bus from Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State to Akure, the Ondo State capital, were allegedly abducted on Tuesday at Ita Ogbolu.
The identities of the victims had not been ascertained as of the time of filing this report as they were said to have been whisked away to an unknown destination in the forest.
“The matter was reported at the Ita Ogbolu Police Division, but nobody knows their whereabouts till now,” a source stated.
However, the Ondo State Police Command said on Wednesday that only one person was abducted.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Femi Joseph, who identified the victim as Felix Akinde, said the incident happened while the victim was travelling to Akure from Ado Ekiti.
The PPRO said in a statement that the abduction took place few metres away from the National Youth Service Corps farm in Ita Ogbolu, but noted that no serving corps member was involved in the incident.
He said, “A Toyota Previa space bus was driven by one Felix Akinde from Ikere Ekiti en route Akure yesterday (Tuesday) with only the driver inside. Around 4am on a spot close to the NYSC farm at Ita Ogbolu, the vehicle was blocked by suspected hoodlums, while the driver, who was the only occupant, was whisked away.
“The command has since begun investigation and is intensifying efforts to not only rescue the victim, but to also arrest the perpetrators.”
When contacted on the telephone, the state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Mr Jacob Adebo, confirmed the incident but said the union did not have the details and the number of the victims.
He said, “The driver of the bus, who was also kidnapped, is a member of the union but we are not certain about the number of his passengers or whether he had passengers or not.
“We have begun our investigation to know the unit and branch that the driver belongs to and to know the exact number of the victims.
“The security people have interrogated me on the matter. So, we have begun our investigation. We will let you know after we have concluded our investigation.”
Meanwhile, the NYSC in the state has debunked reports that a serving corps member was among the victims.
In a statement by the Public Relations Officer, NYSC in the state, Mr Bankole Simon, it urged the parents of corps members serving in the state not to panic.
The statement read in part, “The news is not only false, but also baseless and unfounded. The management, through the established procedure, can authoritatively tell the general public, especially parents and guardians, not to panic as all corps members serving in all the local governments in the state and those who are currently in camp at Ikare-Akoko are safe, sound and healthy.
“The management of the NYSC has put in place necessary machinery and effective measures to safeguard at all times the lives and properties of serving corps members.”