Oyewale Akinwande, a popular timber merchant from Idoani, Ose Local Government Area, Ondo State, was abducted by armed kidnappers over the weekend.
Mr. Akinwande was kidnapped at his sawmill in the Owaani area of the town during the weekend, SaharaReporters gathered.
The victim was seized while switching the electric generating set at his mill.
Our correspondent learned that four hoodlums wielding guns and cutlasses kidnapped the timber merchant.
The kidnappers were suspected to be herdsmen who had been threatening residents of the area with their nefarious activities.
Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that two of the abductors were masked when they forced their way to the sawmill.
One of the witnesses revealed that the hoodlums escaped with their victim through Ipele/Idoani Road.
“They started shooting into the air immediately after they entered the sawmill to scare us [workers] in the timber factory away and everyone scampered for safety.
“They were able to locate Oga [Akinwande] where he had gone to put on the generating set because we were about to start the day’s work at around 9 a.m. when the gunmen stormed the site.
“We have alerted the security agencies about the kidnap and they have even visited the sawmill to see the situation and have commenced their investigation,” the witness told SaharaReporters.
He added that the abductors are demanding a ransom payment in return for the safe release of Mr. Akinwande.
Femi Joseph, spokesman of the Ondo State Police Command, also confirmed the incident when contacted by telephone on Sunday.
Mr. Joseph said the police have commenced an investigation into the kidnap case, adding that the victim would be rescued unharmed.
“We are already making progress on our investigation and I can assure you that the victim will be rescued from the kidnappers,” he said.
The spokesman also vowed that the hoodlums would soon be apprehended and prosecuted.