Release of Osun workers: Aregbesola denies paying N100 million ransom

Where can we get that kind  of money,  he says

Contrary to the tale making the rounds in the South-west geo-political zone and beyond, Osun governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has refuted paying N100 million ransom for the release of the three Osun state officials kidnapped in Kogi state days back. He added that it’s not only untrue but unthinkable.

Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Saturday, April 30, 2016, via his Director of Bureau De Publicity, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the engineer turned politician expressed dissatisfaction and disbelief about the tale, claiming it’s only being bandied by false alarmists and disgruntled elements, aimed at mocking his administration. He therefore urged the general public, especially the good people of the state designated as the Home of the Living Spring to disregard the tale as there’s no iota of truth in it.

“In the first place, where can Osun state get that kind of money at this moment? So, it’s illogical and lacks merit. It should be disregarded. That’s to tell you that those peddling the rumour are false alarmists. I think their aim is even to mock the state because from common sense premise, everyone, even outside the state, knows the state is in a financial mess now. So, it’s baseless saying Aregbesola paid N100 million ransom for the release of the kidnapped officials.

“However, we give glory to God that the three kidnapped workers have been released, and nothing happened to them in the hands of their abductors.

“We appreciate the efforts of Kogi state government and security operatives in the state and beyond for their roles in ensuring that the workers were rescued from their abductors. No ransom was paid. It’s even unthinkable.”

On Friday, April 22, 2016, some unidentified gunmen abducted three officials of Osun state government, including the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Adebimpe Ogunlumade, State Audit, Mr. Tajudeen Badejoko and their driver, Oladapo Arogundade, causing serious panic and confusion in the state.

The officials were reportedly kidnapped by the gunmen between Obajana and Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, on their way to Osogbo, the Osun state capital, from a programme organized in Abuja by the World Bank and European Union on local government reforms.

However, the kidnappers were said to have demanded a ransom of N1.2 billion from Osun state government for the release of the abducted staffers. This was reportedly reduced to N100 million after negotiating with the abductors. The workers were said to have regained their freedom few hours later, that’s on Sunday, April 25, 2016.


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