There is palpable panic among residents of Otto, Ebute-Metta l, Lagos as five children have allegedly been kidnapped from the community.
According to a report by Punch, the incidences of kidnap in the community started in June last year.
The latest victims were identified as Dunmola Ogunjobi 4, Aisha Taiwo 4, Daniel Samuel 3, Alimat Onikoyi 4 and Romanus 2.
One of the victims, Ogunjobi was reportedly kidnapped last Tuesday while playing in front of her parents house with friends at Akinlolu street, Oto.
Taiwo was kidnapped six weeks earlier at Otto Bridge road while playing with her friends too. Her mother had been using the ATM at the time of the kidnap.
“The incident occurred on February 16. I went out to withdraw money that day. My daughter and her friend, Success, were with my grandma outside. I was at the ATM point when I got a call that Aisha (Taiwo) was missing. I learnt she, Success and one other child were playing around the vicinity but she did not return home.
“We asked her friends what happened but they could not say anything. It was later in the day that Success said a woman went away with Aisha. We went to Iponri and Denton police stations to report the case.” Ademola Taiwo told Punch.
Her husband Yusuf alleged that there was some foul play on the part of the police when the case was reported.
“She was playing outside when she was abducted. We searched everywhere and reported to the police at Iponri and Alakara divisions.
“There was a day a woman was arrested for attempting to abduct a child in the community. She was beaten up and taken to Denton Police Station. My wife went there to ask the woman if she knew about our daughter’s whereabouts. Police accused her that she mobilised a mob to attack the woman.
They detained her from 1pm till 11pm and collected N25,000 before she was released,” he said.
Alimat was also kidnapped in front of her House at Jones Street, Otto Ilogbo extension while playing with friends.
According to her father Oriyomi Onikoyi;
“She was abducted in front of our compound. I came back from work around 8pm that day and I gave her the snack I bought for her. We were all rejoicing because my first daughter just gave birth that day.
While Alimat was with her friends playing outside, there was power outage. I came outside about two minutes after but did not see her. I reported at different police stations, including Ikeja division.
“We were informed that a girl was found in Ketu Police Station. We went there but the girl is not my child. People keep assuring me that I will find her. I have not been myself since she went missing. My wife has become lean; she cries every day.”
Okorafo Samuel also narrated how his son Daniel was kidnapped.
“Daniel was two years and eight months when he was abducted. I left home around 5.30pm to hustle. I was returning around 9pm when a neighbour met me on the road and said they were looking for Daniel.
“My wife told me she was washing plates in the kitchen with Daniel beside her. After washing the plates, she went to throw the dirty water inside the gutter. By the time she came back, she could not find him again. The kitchen is in on the corridors of our compound. We reported the case at the Iponri Police Station and went to different orphanages to look for him,” he told correspondents.
The parents of Romanus had to relocate to their hometown in Benue state due to the trauma caused by the kidnap of their two year old son.
Confirming the occurrences, the head of local security guards on Lagos mainland, Mr. Ishola Agbodemu said there was a serious security lapse in the community.
“We need the cooperation of all parents, community leaders and security agencies. All the five children abducted are still missing and there were two cases of attempted abduction.
“This case keeps recurring almost every three months. The recent one happened about two weeks ago. We report the incidents to the police but the support we get from them is not enough.’’ he said.