THE Methodist Church presbyter, Very Reverend Kayode Akande and two other prominent leaders of the church, simply identified as Mr Bankole and Mr Omodunbi, who were allegedly abducted by suspected Fulani herdsmen along Osogbo-Iwo expressway last Sunday have been released from the captivity.
TribuneOnline authoritatively gathered that the trio, who were kidnapped around 7.15 pm last Sunday, while coming from a meeting in Ile-Ogbo, a community near Iwo town regained their freedom at about 8.20 pm on Thursday.
Prior to their release, local vigilante members, assisted by the Police have combed the forest along Osogbo-Iwo road, searching for the Methodist priest and two others.
A credible source informed our correspondent that the victims have been reunited with their families. However, it could not be confirmed if a ransom was paid before they were left off the hook.
According to the source, even though Reverend Akande, Bankole and Omodunbi were not injured, they were seriously beaten while being held in the den of their alleged kidnappers.
When contacted, the Bishop of Methodist Church diocese in Osogbo, Most Reverend Amos Ogunrinde confirmed their release to newsmen, saying they were in good condition and that they have been reunited with their respective family members.
However, it could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report if kidnappers have been arrested by the security agencies, just as the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Osun State Police command, Mrs Folasade Odoro said a statement would be issued later by the Police authorities over the development.
Reacting over the freedom of the kidnapped victims, the chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Osun State chapter, Reverend Father Michael Okodua expressed joy over their release, stressing that the government and security agencies should redouble their efforts towards guaranteeing the effective security of lives and properties in the country.
Okodua, who spoke during a telephone chat with our correspondent posited that “we are happy over the release of the Methodist Church Clergy and others, who were kidnapped. I would say what I have been saying over time that government should work more on providing effective security in the nation”.
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