Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The abducted twins of a popular Ibadan-based Islamic cleric, Sheik Taofeeq Akeugbagold, have been released by gunmen that kidnapped them eight days earlier.
Akeugbagold, the immediate past chairman of the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), said he picked up the twins, who are two years four months, comprising a boy and a girl, from their abductors at 5:30 am on Sunday May 3.
The twins were abducted on April 25 at the Akeugbagold’s residence, Abatakan, Ojoo, Ibadan a few minutes after he left the house for a studio to record his Ramadan sermon.
According to the cleric, the abductors had demanded for £100,000 ransom (N55million) to secure the release of his children. But he kept silent on whether ransom was paid or not, and the role played by security agencies.
His words: “Alhamudulilaih! At 5:30am on Sunday, May 3, my abducted twin kids were released to me beside a bush after eight days in an unknown land.
“Thank you all for your prayers and support. My treasure dropped in the water but God located it and brought it back to me.”
Prior to the release of the twins, Akeugbagold had said: ”We have been exchanging conversations with the abductors. We are begging them on a daily basis to reduce the ransom. They asked for £100, 000 (about N55 million). Since then, we have been begging them. The abductors speak good English suggesting that they are graduates.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the development said the twins were rescued with the support of the Nigeria Police Force.
He stated that the release of the twins was secured through spirited efforts put in by the police, including personnel attached to the Anti-Kidnapping Squad (AKS), Swift Response Squad (SRS), and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).