By Our Correspondent
Unknown gunmen have invaded the rustic Epe community in the East senatorial District of Lagos State and after several hours of laying siege on the town abducted seven persons whom they took to some unknown location.
Eye witness account said the suspects who were clad in army uniform had initially struc on Sunday at a place called Kodjo Farm at Igbodu, in Epe, where they abducted the seven men.
One of the victims of the abduction, is said to be a staff of a popular farm, Kodjo Farm was identified as a 65-year-old guard called Kakaja Joseph.
Joseph alongside four poultry other workers of the farm and two travellers were among the other victims of the raid conducted by the suspects who were said to have dressed in army uniform.
“Gunmen are operating here. They’ve blocked the road. It’s so serious. Get the police, please!” an eye witness who declined to be mentioned told newsmen.
Though men of the police force had engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel, they however staged a return with another round of violence, when they descended on Molajoye Community High School where they tried to abduct students during the morning assembly.
A joint effort by the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), officers from Area N Police Headquarters, the Navy and Army foiled the abduction.
According to eyewitnesses accounts the men stormed the farm at about 8 a.m shooting sporadically. They whisked their victims away in a waiting boat. The gunmen carted away several live chickens and eggs.
Some of those caught up in the Sunday attack said that they slept inside the bush.
A farm worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “After kidnapping the poultry workers, the gunmen went to Molajoye Expressway and kidnapped two travellers. Some of the occupants of the bus sustained injuries.
Mr. Isaiah Joseph, son of the abducted guard, said: “Since our father was kidnapped, we’ve been running from pillar to post, to secure his release. When he left home on Saturday, we expected him back on Sunday for church service. We waited with our mother, but he didn’t show up. We decided to go to the farm to check on him. We were told by one of the engineers that he had been abducted, along with four workers.”
Joseph said that the management of the poultry had assured them that they would make efforts to secure his release soonest.
“We’re still waiting for him to return, but our major concern is his health. He’s old. We don’t know how they are treating him,” said Joseph.
Mr. Isaac John, an in-law to Kakaja, said the farm management had promised to negotiate with the kidnappers.
He added: “We’re anxious! We don’t know his condition presently. If not because of the economic situation in the country, the old man wouldn’t be doing that sort of job.”