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“My Kidnapped Sisters Said Abductors Are Butchering Captured Lagos-Ibadan Travellers” – Sibling Speaks



They were among an unspecified number of travelers waylaid and kidnapped by suspected Fulani bandits on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Friday, October 28, 2022.

Oluwatobiloba Orekoya, a twenty-five-year-old final year student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ogun State, and her sister, Aminat, a graduate awaiting NYSC call-up, were recently kidnapped.

They were among an unspecified number of travelers waylaid and kidnapped by suspected Fulani bandits on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Friday, October 28, 2022.

Their elder sister, Oluwaseyi, and mother, Funke, tell GODFREY GEORGE that their abductors are demanding N20m ransom for their release.

What is your relationship with the kidnapped ladies?

I am their elder sister. My name is Oluwaseyi Ashoba. I am based in Abeokuta, Ogun State, but my parents are in Mowe. Both my sisters, Aminat and Oluwatobiloba, who were kidnapped, live in Abeokuta. I am 28 years old. I am a businesswoman. I sell foodstuffs.

How did you learn about your sisters’ kidnap?

Yesterday (Friday, October 28, 2022), one of Tobiloba’s friends invited both of them to a birthday party in Ibadan. So, they started preparations to attend the party. Tobiloba would be 25 by next month, whereas Aminat is around 22. So, they are not young children, and it wasn’t unusual for them to be invited to parties. I remember that around 3pm or so, they both went out to fix their nails and eyelashes and other things, getting set for the party. At about 5pm or so, they left Abeokuta for Ibadan. They told me that they had left. I was fully aware when they left. I was there when their friends called and were telling them that they were already running late and they said they were on their way. From Abeokuta to Ibadan is not even up to one hour under normal circumstances, so they were supposed to get there before 6pm.

I learnt that when they got to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, there was an accident involving two suspected Yahoo boys. The accident was fatal, I learnt, and the road got blocked. No car could move. It was a standstill. So, Aminat and Tobi were in the bus, waiting while efforts were being made to clear the road. Some said they had called the emergency agency. It was not even up to five minutes after that stop that some Fulani herdsmen came out from the bush in their droves and attacked the travellers. We learnt from escapees that my sisters tried to escape but were later caught where they were hiding and taken into the bush. The people who told us said they really ran and hid but they were shocked at how they were caught. It seemed like the herders used black magic to locate where they were. They kidnapped many of them. They kidnapped both of them.

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How did you receive the news of their kidnap?

My brother called me yesterday (Friday) to tell me that my sisters had been kidnapped. I didn’t believe it, because it was not even up to two hours after I heard from them. How were they kidnapped just like that? I said it was not possible. I convinced myself. It was this morning (Saturday, October 29, 2022), that I saw Tobi’s classmates and everyone else posting and calling for donations into my brother’s account that I knew that we have a situation on our hands. I had to call my brother and he told me that it was true.

Have the kidnappers reached out to your family?

Yes, they have. The Fulani kidnappers called Aminat’s boyfriend with Aminat’s phone and told us that they had kidnapped Aminat and her sister, Tobi, and that we should get ready for them to call us again. That was what made us know that they were indeed kidnapped. As of this morning, my mum spoke to them in their language – because my mum understands Fulfude, having stayed in the North – and they (kidnappers) told us to bring N10m for each of them. So, for the two of them, we are to bring N20m. My mum kept begging them to release her children because the family did not have anything to give them. They simply laughed and told her to go and get the money or else they would kill the girls as they had done to many others. They told her to get off the phone and go get them that N20m, and that she should make it quick. We recorded that conversation and I can send it to you. She said she can afford N1m; they laughed and told her to go and gather money, insisting they must collect N20m from the family.

But what makes you so sure they are actually Fulani?

I said they spoke Fulfude. We even called Aminat’s number later and they still picked up and spoke only Fulfude to us. It was my mom and some other people who understand the language that interpreted to us. They demanded the ransom in their language. If they were not Fulani, what will I gain to say they are? It is not the first time they are operating on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, so we know what we are saying when we say they are Fulani herdsmen.

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Have you managed to speak to your sisters?

Yes, we have. The second time we called, they allowed us to speak to them for a minute. They were crying, shouting and begging us to do whatever we could to get them out of the kidnappers’ den. They said we should sell whatever we could and pay the kidnappers. Aminat said they had killed some people beside them and the killing was still on. She said if the kidnappers call the family of the captives and they are not being reasonable, they will just butcher them. It is not a joke at all. It sent chills down my spine. They had hardly finished talking when the kidnappers dragged the phone off their hands and told us to get that money.

How is your mum coping with this situation?

She has not eaten since yesterday. She has just been crying, sitting on the floor, rolling naked on the ground, calling on God. It is almost like she is not herself anymore. Two children, at once! I am not sure anyone can take that. We really need help.

When we heard N20m, I think my mum even almost passed out. I am not sure any of us has counted such an amount of money in our lives. My mum is a trader. My dad is not really doing much. He is a land agent. As I speak to you now, there is no hope. All we have been able to raise is N250,000. We don’t have any land to sell; we would have sold it. We have sold all our furniture and everything else we can sell to raise that money. It is painful.

Have you reported this case to the police?

Yes, my dad reported to the Mowe Police Station, and they said they were on top of it. They said they had tracked the kidnappers to Ogere. I wouldn’t like to give further details for security reasons. I am so scared of even going back to Abeokuta because I pass through the expressway all the time.

What kind of girls are Aminat and Tobi?

These girls are people who hardly go out. If not that the person who invited them is a close friend, they wouldn’t have left to attend that party. They were even having a second thought but… We just need help. I don’t even know what to say. Anything anyone anywhere can raise to help us, they should help us. The money is too much. N20m? Where are we supposed to get it from?

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