Lagos LG boss, Bamigbetan, kidnapped….Daily Independent

Unknown gunmen struck late on Monday night in Lagos where they kidnapped Chairman of the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Kehinde Bamigbetan.
Bamigbetan was one time Chief Press Secretary to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The incident happened at about 11.00 p.m. while the LCDA boss was about entering the street leading to his residence in Ejigbo.
A close family source said on Tuesday that the abductors have demanded $1 million (about N160 million) as ransom for Bamigbetan’s freedom.
The source said Bamigbetan’s wife, Fatimah, was contacted by the abductors at about 4.00 a.m. with a warning not to inform the police.
The source told Daily Independent that the council chairman was kidnapped by four gunmen on his way home from an event after the close of work.
He was reportedly seized as he was about entering his Ona Iwa Mimo Street, Ori Oke, before Egbe Bridge in Ejigbo.
He was with his driver, Biodun Olayiwola, in his black Ford Everest jeep with customised registration number – KOK.
The gunmen were said to have shot into the air to scare away residents.
Bamigbetan, who is serving his second term as chairman of the Ejigbo LCDA, moves about without police escort.
His residence at No. 21 Iwa Mimo Street, Ejigbo, was a beehive of activities on Tuesday, as friends, party leaders, well-wishers and staff came to sympathise with his wife.
Lagos State Police Commissioner, Umar Manko, said the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) the victim was traveling in before the hoodlums struck had been recovered somewhere in the FESTAC area of Lagos.
Manko also expressed optimism that the abducted chairman would soon be found.
Bamigbetan’s driver, Olayiwola, who escaped with minor bruises on his body, said the operation lasted for about three minutes.
“Three armed men came down from their vehicle while the driver did not,” he recounted.
Also confirming the incident, Secretary to the Local Government, Remi Gbadegesin, said the abductors made a call to the wife at about 4.00 a.m. through the phone of her husband and demanded $1 million (N160 million) ransom.
“The abductors warned her (wife) not to involve the police or play any pranks,” Gbadegesin said.
Reacting to the incident, Lagos State chapter of the ACN warned the kidnappers to release Bamigbetan in the next 12 hours or face the full wrath of the law.
Spokesperson of the party in Lagos State, Joe Igbokwe, who made the threat in a chat with Daily Independent on Tuesday said the party was confident the kidnappers will be apprehended because the state government with its huge investment in security has the capacity to do so.
Igbokwe, who described the incident as unfortunate, urged the Federal Government to take proactive steps in ensuring the safety of the citizenry.
He however vowed that the kidnappers will be arrested.
“Even though this unfortunate incident happened in Lagos, a state that has been very proactive in terms of security and has made serious investment in security, I will tell you this kidnapping will not last.
“We will get them. If you commit a crime in Lagos, it can take a day or two, but we will get you because we have the capacity to do so.
“So, I am urging the kidnappers to release Bamigbetan in the next 10 to 12 hours. They will be caught, I can assure you. Mark my words, they will be brought to justice,” Igbokwe added.
In his own reaction, founder of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Frederick Fasehun, on Tuesady ordered his members in Lagos and the entire South West to collaborate with security agents to search for the kidnapped chairman.
Speaking at his Century Hotel, Okota, Fasehun said: “We just heard about this unfortunate incident. Kehinde Bamigbetan is our son, a Yoruba man. Whoever touches any Yoruba man touches the apple of OPC’s eye and will pay dearly.
“We warn whoever is behind this evil act that Bamigbetan must be released unharmed. Not one strand of his hair must be hurt,” the OPC leader said.