Three people were feared dead in Igboora, Ibarapa area of Oyo State, on Saturday, as those suspected to be kidnappers struck near Subawah Oil Filling Station, along Idere Road in the town.
Two nine-year-old cousins were said to have been killed in the incident while the mother of one of the unfortunate pair was reported to have been hit by a stray bullets. It was not clear as at publication time if she survived the gunshot.
The Chief Executive Officer of the filling station, Mrs. Sherifat Adisa, said to have been abducted and whisked away to an unknown destination, was later found dead the following day, along the bushpath in the town.
A resident of the community explained those killed were hit by stray bullets fired by the hoodlums while trying to escape with the business woman who they were suspected to have come for.
He said: “The unfortunate incident ocoured around 7:20 pm on Saturday, January 2. Road users and those in the neighbourhood scampered for safety as the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air.
“The woman and two children were on their way from igboora to idere when the commercial motorcycle rider who was conveying them dropped them by the roadside to buy fuel at the filling station.
“In the process, they were hit by stray bullets. The woman was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” he said.
A statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Command, Fadeyi Olugbenga, which confirmed the development, partly read: “The attention of the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu, have been drawn to the two incidents that happened at Idere in Ibarapa Central Local Government Area where a business woman and two 9-year-old cousins were killed by unknown gunmen.
“The CP wishes to state that in the incident of murder at Idere where three persons were killed, some suspects have been arrested through collaborative efforts of the Police and other local security and that investigation has commenced and the outcome will be made public in due time.
“Furthermore, intensive manhunt is still ongoing around the area to arrest other fleeing suspects and at the same time massive deployment emplaced to restore confidence to the community in particular and the whole Ibarapa axis in general,” the statement read.
In reference to another incident in which a man identified as Dr. Akindele was abducted in Tapa, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the State on January 2, the statement read, “The abduction of Dr. Akindele in his hospital, though not officially reported to the Divisional Police headquarters in Ayete as stated by the Divisional Police Officer, was an issue of concern.
“Nonetheless, he (the CP) reiterates his commitment to rejig the security architecture of the area. Concerted efforts have been put in place to protect lives and property in Ibarapa axis in particular and the whole Oyo State in general,” the police said.