It was heightened apprehension that greeted Akodo area of Lekki Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos state after a 75-year-old Baale was kidnapped by suspected militants in the area.
The Baale identified as Salino Kareem, was abducted in his palace at Ebute Lekki on Sunday, May 21, around 2:00a.m. The gunmen were said to have invaded the palace through the waterways, shooting sporadically before taking the Baale away through the waterways.
The Guardian investigation revealed that the abduction has thrown the entire community into panic as some residents have relocated from the town to neighbouring communities for safety.
It was gathered that before the Baale was kidnapped, five factory workers, who were kidnapped in February were released on Saturday, only for the community leader to be abducted the next day.
Two days after the incident, the abductors were said to have called one of their captive’s son and demanded N20 million as ransom.Earlier, one of the community monarchs, Oba Muyiwa Ogunbekun, had called for proper monitoring of the waterways.
“We cannot sleep with our eyes closed anymore. Kidnappers have taken over ibeju-Lekki area. We want proper monitoring of the waterways by providing us with marine police and gunboats. We know the police are doing their best but their best is not enough, we want adequate security of our waterways,” he said.
The Sole Administrator of Ibeju Lekki LCDA, Tosin Oshinuga, urged the residents to always say something when they see something.“The kidnappers are not ghosts. They live in our midst. Some of our youths should work with security agencies to steam the tide of the kidnappers,” Oshinuga said.
The Lagos State police boss, Fatai Owoseni, said the police had averted over 100 kidnapping cases in the area.“There is need for residents to take responsibility and report strangers amongst them to police. There is need for a vigilance group to be formed. We need people who would work with us and give us intelligence.”