Philip Aivoji, the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), along with several other party members, has been abducted by gunmen. The incident occurred in the Ogere area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Thursday. When they were kidnapped, Aivoji and the others were returning from a party’s Stakeholders’ Zonal Caucus Meeting in Ibadan, convened by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde.
Sources, preferring anonymity, disclosed that the abductors are demanding a ransom of N200 million for the release of the party leaders. Confirming the abduction, Ogun State Police Command spokesperson Omolola Odutola reported that the incident took place at the Bamboo area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. She assured security personnel were actively working on the case and had already rescued some victims.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Hakeem Amode, the Lagos State PDP chapter condemned the abduction and urged government authorities and security agencies at all levels to intervene swiftly for the safe release of its chairman. The statement highlighted the growing concern over kidnapping in Nigeria and the government’s struggle to address this menace.
Dr. Abdul-Azeez Adediran, the PDP’s governorship candidate in Lagos State, also expressed shock over the incident. Through his spokesperson, Gbenga Ogunleye, Adediran criticized the government’s failure to ensure security and called for urgent action from security agencies, including collaboration with the regional security outfit Amotekun, for the chairman’s immediate release.
The abduction of Philip Aivoji, the Lagos PDP Chairman, is a stark reminder of the escalating security challenges in Nigeria, particularly the menace of kidnapping. This incident is not just an attack on an individual or a political party but an affront to our security and democracy. The fact that public figures are becoming targets underscores the severity of the security situation.
This situation calls for a concerted effort from the government, security agencies, and the community. While the police and other security agencies must intensify their efforts to rescue the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice, there is also a need for a broader strategy to address the root causes of insecurity in the country.
The increasing frequency of kidnappings for ransom is a symptom of deeper socio-economic problems, including unemployment, poverty, and inequality. Tackling these issues requires long-term, sustainable solutions beyond mere reactionary measures. The government must formulate and implement comprehensive policies that address these underlying issues.
As we stand in solidarity with the victims and their families, let us call for action that not only resolves the immediate crisis but also works towards creating a safer and more secure Nigeria for all its citizens.
Did You Know?
- The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, where the abduction occurred, is one of Nigeria’s busiest and most important highways, connecting Lagos to various parts of the country.
- Kidnapping for ransom has become a prevalent issue in Nigeria, with both high-profile individuals and ordinary citizens being targeted.
- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is one of the major political parties in Nigeria and has played a significant role in the country’s political landscape since the return to civilian rule in 1999.
- Oyo State, where the PDP meeting was held, is known for its political activism and has been pivotal in Nigeria’s political history.
- Amotekun is a regional security outfit in the Southwestern part of Nigeria, established to complement the efforts of the national police in combating various security challenges in the region.