LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Kwara State Police Command has said that it is working assiduously to effect safe release of four abducted Turkish nationals who were reportedly kidnapped at Gbale village in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State at the weekend.
The Turkish nationals were abducted at a local drinking joint by a six-man armed gang on Saturday at about 10p.m.
The kidnap victims, identified as construction workers with Instabul Concrete Limited working in the village, are Yasin Colak (33), Senerapal (40), Ergun Yurdakul (35) and Seyit Keklik (25).
This is just as one of traditional title holders in the area, on Monday said that the kidnappers had demanded a sum of N16 million as ransom for the release of the victims.
Speaking in Ilorin on Monday, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ajayi Okasanmi, denied any knowledge of ransom demand for release of the victims.
The PPRO said that the police command had advised family members of the victims not to pay ransom for the release, adding that, “for now, the police is working round the clock to make sure the abductees are released unhurt and alive. That is what I can say for now. We don’t want to give out information that will jeopardise the safe release of the Turkish nationals.”
The report, on Monday, said that the kidnappers had demanded a sum of N16 million as ransom for the release of four Turkish expatriates. This was disclosed by a community leader in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of the state, who is also the Shaaba of Lafiagi, Abdulrahaman Manzuman.
Manzuman, who expressed dissatisfaction with the matter, said that such development was an eyesore to the community.
“We are very disturbed concerning the incident. I heard that the kidnappers have contacted the company demanding N4 million per head. I can’t say much on it because I am not in town presently,” he said.
“On that fateful evening, we were told by other people who fled the scene that some gunmen who looked like Fulani herdsmen had taken the Turkish nationals to an unknown destinations.
“The victims were drinking at a local joint when the gunmen invaded the area and kidnapped them at that time.
“The police in a joint work with local vigilance group are now in serious search to rescue the victims. They have been searching around while some security operatives are in the bush for the same mission.”
Speaking on the development, the Vice President of Vigilante Group Nigeria, Saka Ibrahim, said the group in the local government area was teaming up with the police to ensure the victims were rescued.