One week after the kidnap of the Oniba of Ibaland, Oba Yushau Oseni, his abductors have demanded N500m for his release, Saturday PUNCH learnt.
The kidnappers did not fail to offer a reason for the kidnap.
One of the monarch’s sons, Saheed Oseni, who confirmed that the kidnappers had made contact, told one of our correspondents that they said they could not longer make money from pipeline vandalism.
Saheed called on the state government to rise to the family’s help and rescue their father.
He said, “Even if you sell the whole community, we can’t raise N500m. The men finally called on Thursday and said they wanted N500m. They said Baba is a part of the government and he should be able to raise that money. They said they had no pipeline to eat from and so they must survive.
“They said the Yorubas and Hausas stopped their means of livelihood and they needed to find another means of survival. All our pleadings fell on deaf ears. We have conveyed the update to the state government and we believe something will be done. We are seriously concerned about Baba’s health.
“We know the government is on top of the situation and we are hopeful.”
Oba Oseni was abducted from his palace on Saturday, July 16, 2016 around 8.30pm.
The gunmen reportedly numbering about 16 stormed the palace in two speedboats and killed the palace guard, Sunday Okanlawon.
An unidentified motorcyclist was also killed while the kidnappers shot at the monarch’s wife, Kuburat, who is still recuperating in a government hospital.
A woman and her three-month-old baby and a yet-to-be-identified businessman were also reportedly abducted by the gunmen.
Nothing was heard from the abductors of the 73-year-old monarch for six days after his abduction, until Friday, fuelling speculations about what could have happened to the monarch.
But Saturday PUNCH learnt that the monarch’s abductors threatened the family to raise the money as fast as they could, saying the he was an influential member of the state government.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the police were still on the trail of the kidnappers and would rescue the monarch soon.
“We have clues we are working on. In no distance time, we are optimistic that the monarch will be reunited with the family,” she said.