– The Sun News

Sen Arise’s abduction: Gloom, tension in Oye Ekiti

• Kidnappers demand N80m ransom

From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti

Palpable tension has gripped the family, relatives and political associates of Senator Ayo Arise, who was kidnapped last Sunday on his way to Abuja from Ekiti.

While effort to reach his immediate family has not yielded positive result, a relative of the senator, Mr. Ayo Ajayi, who spoke to Daily Sun sounded unhappy on phone.

When asked how the family and other relatives of the abducted former lawmaker are taking the development, he said: “How do you expect a family of a man who was suddenly abducted and taken to unknown destination feel? Tell me, if they were yours, would you feel happy? 

Also, party members and other relatives were in a bad mood at his residence in his home country in Oye, Oye Local Government Area. 

The mansion, which used to be a beehive of activities whenever the abducted former lawmaker was around, yesterday, was in palpable gloom as callers, mainly party associates from APC, wore sad and mourning faces.

A political associate of Arise and APC youth leader, Dapo Ipoola, said the family members have since Sunday night been thrown into confusion although they are managing their emotion and strategising on how to get Arise freed.

Meanwhile, abductors of the former lawmaker, representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, have demanded N80 million ransom from his family members.

Arise was kidnapped alongside his driver on Sunday evening along Okene-Abuja highway.

The Ekiti politician was said to have been travelling in his Mercedez Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) when the gunmen swooped on him, accosting his vehicle and ferried him into a near-by bush.

Daily Sun gathered that the abductors had, however, contacted the family and demanded N80 million ransom. The abducted former lawmaker was the chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation between 2007 and 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Arise later defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to irreconcilable differences with Governor Ayodele Fayose prior to 2015 general election. According to a family source, Arise was abducted while returning to Abuja from Oye Ekiti, his country-home. The APC chieftain was said to have attended a ceremony in Ikere Ekiti on Saturday, where a chieftaincy title was conferred on retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin. He later returned to Ado Ekiti and visited the golf course along Federal Polytechnic Road before going to his country-home to see his political associates. One of his closest allies, who craved anonymity said: “Yes, he visited Ekiti State on Saturday before returning to Abuja.

“When we wanted to establish contact with him, we could not. The last time I called him was around 6:00pm, so the kidnap must have taken place around 7:00pm. They have contacted us and demanded N80 million ransom. We are worried because we don’t know his situation.

“The family is working hard to secure his release and we have contacted relevant agencies, including the police to come to our aid,” he said.

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