Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Abductors of the Chairman of the Academic Staff of Polytechnics (ASUP) of the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igbo Ora, Mr. Opadijo Oluyide, secretary of the union, Gbenga Alayande and three other persons, were said to have demanded a N500million ransom.
The five persons were abducted on Thursday evening at a spot 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.
The meeting was convened to discuss how the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde, would pay the outstanding salary arrears owed workers in the Oyo tertiary institutions, ranging from between six and 18 months.
A notable JAC member, who preferred anonymity told reporters on Saturday that the abductors called on Saturday morning and demanded a ransom of N500million.
“Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Shina Olukolu, has taken over the matter. He was personally in Igbo Ora to monitor the situation. Based on this, JAC would not want to give out more information about the ugly incident.
“JAC 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 per cent by the administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi,” the source said.
A JAC member in Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, said: “The meeting ended at 4.00p.m on Thursday. Delegates from different institutions began to depart to their various destinations. The Toyota Sienna bus that conveyed the Igbo Ora people was faulty.
“But 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 stopover at Iseyin, to pick a wife to one of the delegates.
“After leaving Iseyin around 7.00p.m, we were told that the vehicle 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.”
Meanwhile, the police in Oyo State have intensified efforts to rescue the victims unhurt. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the abduction of the five persons, said Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu, had visited the college and the scene of the incident for on-the-spot assessment.
Olukolu, according to him, had deployed all the tactical teams to the place, including Anti-Kidnapping Squad (AKS) and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) with a view to rescuing the victims. But he said he was not aware of the N500million ransom.
“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.”