Fulani herdmen kidnap Falae in Ondo on his 77th birthday, demand N100m ransom
The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae was abducted Thursday by some hoodlums in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, was reportedly kidnapped on his way to his farm located in Ilado Village in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.
The National Publicity Secretary of the SDP, a party founded by Falae, Mr. Remi Olayiwola, who spoke with newsmen at the residence of Falae confirmed that he was kidnapped on his farm.
“It was confirmed that Baba went to his farm as usual in Ilado. The gunmen went to his farm where they attacked and kidnapped him,” Olayiwola said. He disclosed that the kidnappers have contacted the family members of the victim and demanded the sum of N100 million before he would be released from their den.
“The abductors have contacted Chief Olu Falae's wife and they are demanding the sum of N100 million before they would release him,” he said.
The State Chairman of the SDP, Chief Korede Duyile, reaffirmed the news of the abduction, saying, “all we can confirm to you now is that Baba Falae has been kidnapped.”
It was learnt that Falae, 77, was abducted on the day he added a year to his age and was supposed to be celebrating with his family.
He was the minister of Finance in the administration of the first Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and later became the Presidential Candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999.
Reports indicate that he was attacked before he was whisked away.
It was also gathered that some of his workers in the farm were also attacked by the suspected Fulani, who reportedly shot sporadically into the air to scare away nearby people and forestalled any circumvention of their dastardly act.
It was, however, not certain whether or not Falae was alone when he was arrested, but a source said he left home with one other person.
Falae, whose birthday was on September 20, was said to have been having issues with some herdsmen around his farm.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state Police command, Mr. Wole Ogodo, who confirmed the incident, said 50 mobile policemen had been deployed to the farm.
Ogodo also confirmed that Falae had been having serious issues with herdsmen around his farm.
A family source of Chief Falae, however disclosed that a special prayer was said to have been held for the family.She also told newsmen that her husband's abductors have made contact and were demanding N100 million as ransom.
Mrs. Falae said the abductors asked the family to pay the ransom within three days.
She said one of the suspected abductors, who spoke with a member of the family on telephone assured that her husband will be released as soon as the money was paid to them between Tuesday and Thursday.
Mrs. Falae, however pleaded with them to release her husband unconditionally as the family could not afford to pay the ransom.
She added the former finance minister was not as rich as many people think, and therefore pleaded for his unconditional release.
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