Suspected kidnappers and robbers at the weekend invaded Akure-Owo-Oba-Akoko-Ikare Road and operated with impunity.
Sources said some lecturers of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO) narrowly escaped being abducted on the spot where their colleague was abducted and killed last Sunday.
Observers said the development might not be unconnected with the recent dismantling of the military checkpoints across the state, which they believed had given criminals freedom to operate within the last one week.
Between Owo-Oba-Akoko-Akungba-Akoko, it was learnt that robbers and kidnapers waylaid passengers.
It was gathered that some were abducted, while others were robbed.
Over 20 gangsters were said to be at spots on the highway, shooting sporadically and causing confusion among travellers.
It was gathered that some of the hoodlums wore masks.
One of the victims, Ogunsemore Ayewumi, a zonal forest officer (ZFO) for Ikare-Akoko, who was travelling to Akure for the weekend, said he was kidnapped and his car left on the road, adding that victims were taken inside the bush.
The captors of Ogunsemore reportedly demanded N15million ransom.
A source at Oba-Akoko said many of the victims went for a ceremony at Ikun-Akoko and were returning when they were abducted and robbed.
Two traditional rulers, Olubaka of Oka, Oba Adebori Adeleleye and Oloba of Oba-Akoko, Oba Nurudeen Adegoroye, condemned the incident.
They called on the military to comb criminals’ hideouts at Ago Ajayi forest and flush them out.
Reports say the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Oba-Akoko had been removed and replaced by another officer, possibly due to incessant kidnapping and robbery
On Owo-Ore Road, people were said to have escaped at Ogbese/Iluabo axis around 5:20pm on Saturday evening.
Children and those who were unlucky to run out of their vehicles were reportedly taken to the bush by the kidnappers.
A RUGIPO lecturer, Dr. Rahman Abubakar, who escaped from the gunmen at Iluabo, near Akure, said one of his colleagues from the Marketing Department was abducted.
The lecturer, who expressed worry about insecurity in the area, said the government must tackle the matter.
Police spokesman Femi Joseph confirmed the incident.
He said the command was on the trail of the kidnappers.