Gun-wielding Fulani bandits have attacked an 18-passenger bus belonging to the Christ Apostolic Church along Akure-Ilesa Road in Ondo State, abducting eight persons in the process.
SaharaReporters learnt that the attackers, about five of them, stormed the expressway around 6pm on Saturday and carried out the abduction.
Videos sent by eyewitnesses of the incident revealed the empty bus and an empty private car – a Toyota Camry 2012 – abandoned by the victims while they were marched into the forest by the bandits.
It was learnt that security operatives from the police and the Nigerian Army who got to the scene could not arrest any of the bandits or rescue any of the victims as they had already gone far.
The CAC bus was wide open with jollof rice strewn on the ground, suggesting that the church members were returning from an occasion.
A commercial driver at the scene said, “We were two drivers coming and the bandits suddenly ran out of the forests, started shooting at us and commanded us to come down. I was lucky to take a reverse and I diverted my route into another path. Unfortunately, my colleague was not that lucky. The attackers were Fulani; they had long sticks and were speaking Hausa.
“They took all the passengers into the forest. The police and the soldiers have not taken any action. They don’t know whether to enter the forest or to wait by the roadside.”
The witness who did the video said the bandits wore black shirts and face masks too.
“They covered their faces while they started attacking our people. The vehicle they stopped was a Toyota Sienna. They tried to force the driver out of the car, but the man struggled with them. Then another car passed and their attention was diverted, they then ran after the new car, where they kidnapped the occupant,” another witness said.
The South-West region has lately witnessed many cases criminal activity –chief among them kidnapping – which has now forced the state governors to adopt anti-open grazing law and to fortify the region’s security outfit – Amotekun.