The Ekiti State Police Command on Friday confirmed the release of three civil servants, abducted along the Ayede-Isan Ekiti road in the Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP. Caleb Ikechukwu, said the release of the three men was secured after the men had spent a couple of days with their captors.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workers are employees of the Ekiti State Road Maintenance Agency.
A source close to the kidnapped men, confirmed that their captors initially demanded a ransom of N10 million for the release of the workers.
According to the source, who pleaded not to be identified, the families of the kidnapped workers could only afford one million naira, which he said, the kidnappers accepted, realizing that the people abducted were civil servants, not having much.
The source said: “Yes, they were released yesterday after they paid N1m each.” But the police spokesman claimed that the workers were freed, following prompt and decisive actions taken by the police.
He said: “Immediately we heard about the kidnapping, our men bombarded the forest located between Ayede Ekiti and Isan Ekitu, up to Ijesamodu, where they were taken to.
“We combed everywhere and when they knew we were closing in on them, they quickly released those they held hostage and fled.
“Our men were very careful to avoid crossfire with the abductors, so that the hostages won’t be killed in the process and it worked out.”
Ikechukwu said, however, that the police were not told whether the families of the abducted people paid ransom to anyone.
He said: “I can’t confirm whether ransom was paid because we were not told and there was no need for that with the level of strategies that we deployed.”
Abductors appear to be having a field day, kidnapping travellers on many highways in south western Nigeria in recent times.
On July 12, the daughter of Yoruba leader, Reuben Fasoronti, Funke Olakurin, 58, was murdered by suspected herdsmen at Kajola on the Akure-Ore highway in Ondo State.