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Anxiety grows over fate of Okada rider who exposed Ibadan horror

Anxiety grows over fate of Okada rider who exposed Ibadan horror
THE whereabouts of a commercial motorcyclist popularly called Okada rider, who blew the lid on the evil at the Ibadan forest of horror is still unknown. His name is Kazeem and it was he who sent distress text messages to friends and colleagues while being held captive at the forest.

Unfortunately, he was not among the victims rescued by people and minions of law at the forest. And seven days after the Saturday’s discovery of the evil forest, curious residents and colleagues of Kazeem said they would not give up until their missing colleague is rescued from the jaws of kidnappers. As at Tuesday, his colleagues claimed they still received test messages from him asking them to rescue him from the kidnappers’ den. Already, a search party has been launched for the Okada rider by his colleagues and relatives, who many believe could still be alive, in the forest with nine others.

A source, who asked not to be named, said: “Kazeem is a commercial motorcyclist and was lured by one of the kidnappers to the site. Unknown to his captors, he had hidden a cell phone which he used to send distress text messages to people. “He used his phone to contact some of his colleagues and gave them the description to the site of horror. That was how we came to this forest to search for him. We have searched everywhere but could not find him. We have also called his phone severally after but we could no longer reach him. He might have been killed in the forest.’’ One of the Okada operators, who is also a member of the search team, Mr. Babayemi Farinu, described his kidnapped colleague as gentle and focused.

Another Okada operator, Dapo Abbey, who spoke with reporters yesterday, said: “We all came here to show solidarity and to fight agents of darkness. It is not because we know him, he is not under our unit, but he is our colleague because he is an Okada operator. “His name is Kazeem and he is from Olomi area. From what we gathered from people who know him, he is such a gentle and diligent person. He was said to have brought two passengers here last Saturday but ended up being kidnapped. He has been sending distress calls since Saturday, and this afternoon, we learned that he sent text messages to people. What that means is that he is still being held somewhere in this forest with others,” he said. “That is why we appealed to policemen to help us to search for him,” said another commercial motorcyclist, who gave his name as Ade.

Nasiru Akeem, a member of Soka Unit of Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), described the disappearance of their member as very painful and unfortunate. “When we rushed to the forest based on the distress call from Kazeem, we searched everywhere, including the building where some of the victims were found, but we couldn’t find him. Some of us shared ourselves into groups and moved deeper into the forest where we discovered more horrifying sights. We have also been to the police in an effort to arrest the fleeing kidnappers. At the moment, we have embarked on prayers and fasting because we believe that God will make it possible for us to locate his whereabouts. “We have no doubt that he is still alive; soon God will touch the hearts of his abductors and save his life”, he added. Some roadside mechanics, who ply their trade a few metres away from the horrific site, expressed disbelief and shock at the discovery. Soka is one of the new residential areas on the outskirts of Ibadan where the forest is located. Part of the forest was occupied by some construction firms, who left at the completion of their projects, leaving behind the structures used by the kidnappers to perpetrate evil. A cross section of residents, who spoke with our correspondent, described the area as a dangerous place, especially at night, claiming that the law enforcement agents had for years been informed of the criminal tendencies of some unscrupulous elements found around the area, but nothing was done to address it. About 20 men and women were evacuated from the bush. The victims were bags of bones having been apparently subjected to starvation and neglect by their captors. Among the victims was a woman who claimed that she was delivered of a baby two days before the discovery and that her baby was immediately sold by her abductors. Some appeared like lunatics with deadlocks on their heads. The scene at the forest which stretched over 15 kilometres was repulsive as decomposing bodies, human skulls, graves and human parts littered the place. Abandoned structures, containers and tankers also compete for space. They were allegedly used by the kidnappers to keep away their victims from sight. Not a few of their unlucky victims had been slaughtered there and sold in parts to human parts buyers. Inside the abandoned buildings, there were tell-tale signs of rape and torture of victims. Among the items found are travelling bags, foot-wears, clothes, national drivers licence, wallets and passport photographs . One of the national driver’s licence bears the name Akinola James Idowu (Ogun State) of NYSC Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan with expiring date April 4, 2014. Another national driver’s licence found is that of one Saidi R. Adetoro of 52, Yaya Abatan Street, Ogba Lagos State. It was issued on March 29, 2003 and expired on November 3, 2006. Some of the mechanics, who operate close to the forest, said the human parts trade had been on for years. They claimed to have sighted on a number of occasions some persons in posh vehicles at the site of the horror. Adekola Abato, a mechanic who spoke with our correspondent, said: “This is surprising. Since I came here for over eight years now, I never knew that this terrible thing is going on here. We ought to have known this but it’s very difficult to detect. We thank God that they have been exposed, but they have caused a lot of pains to the families of their victims.” Although, the forest has since been condoned off by security agents, but angry residents have continued to throng the site wielding cutlasses, clubs, shovels, iron rods and other dangerous weapons in an attempt to arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime. Not even the sounds of gun shots and tear gas canisters fired by the police to ward off the crowd could scare them away. Governor Abiola Ajimobi has since revoked certificate of occupancy and reclaimed it for the state government. The Chairman of Oluyole Local Government, Hon. Abass Aleshinloye who witnessed the evacuation of the kidnapped persons on Saturday described the action of the captors as criminal.

THE NATION

Short URL: http://www.osundefender.org/?p=156221







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on Mar 29 2014. Filed under ACCIDENT, AFRICA, ANNOUNCEMENT, CRIME, Front Page Story, NEWS, News Across Nigeria, South West News.
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