Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) operating in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state comprising Lanlate, Eruwa, Igboora, Idere, Ayete, Tapa and Igangan, have sent a ‘Save our Soul’ message to the Department of State Services (DSS) over the spate of kidnap of their members in recent time.
In a letter addressed to the State Director, Department of State Services (DSS), by the group’s counsel, Segun Adebayo, the petroleum marketers noted that they are in a state of fear, panic and insecurity which has also pervade the operation of their businesses in the entire Ibarapaland.
According to the letter, the fuel marketers recounted that four members of the association whose businesses interests are domiciled in the Ibarapaland have been kidnapped, tortured and kept in custody for several days in quick succession by unknown gunmen, adding that huge ransom were collected before they regained their freedom.
The letter reads in parts, “We start with the latest abduction which is that of the wife of the proprietor of Alafia Tayo petrol station located around General Hospital, Igboora, which occured in the evening of April 21, 2019.
“The gunmen attacked the petrol station in large numbers, fired gunshots into the air which made people to scamper for safety. Having missed the proprietor of the station, the gunmen pounced on his wife whom they met inside the station’s office, forced her into a car snatched from a customer who was buying fuel and drove away.
The letter also included the names of other fuel marketers who were kidnapped at different times but had to pay huge amount of monies before their released were secured.
“Other members of Ibarapa IPMAN who have been kidnapped are proprietor of Adolad petrol, Elekokan, Near Iganagan. He was kidanpped and kept in custody for 15 days in February 2019 and a huge amount of money was paid to secure his release. He was made to trek in the bush all-night and surfaced the following morning around the Nigerian border at Imeko, Ogun state.
“Another one was the kidnap of the proprietor of Mausag petroleum, Igboora. He was also kept in custody for several days before a large amount of money was paid before he could regain his freedom.
“The proprietor of Arolat petrol, New Eruwa, was also kidnapped in Ayetoro, Ogun state. He was kept in custody for five days until a huge sum of money was paid as ransom before he was released”, the letter stated.
The petroleum marketers, however, pleaded with the Oyo State Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), to provide enhanced security in the length and breath of Ibarapaland.
They also urged the DSS to intensify intelligence operations in all the towns and villages in Ibarapaland because they believe that the series of abduction may have been with internal connivance of some unsuspecting individuals.