Family of the commercial motorcyclist, Sikiru Salami, who has been linked to the discovery of the Ibadan kidnappers den, has appealed to the police to find their son.
The family’s plea came on the day the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mohammed Ndabawa, said the site had existed for over 10 years.
Sikiru was not among those rescued in the forest. They said they trusted the police to find him.
Sikiru’s father, Sule Salami, said he believed that his son was alive. He said Sikiru disappeared after taking some people to Soka on Thursday night.
It was during the search for the rider that the search party stumbled on the kidnappers’ den.
He said, “My son is 27 and he plies Olomi, Idi-Arere and its environs. On Friday morning, his wife came to my house to report that he did not come home on Thursday. We started looking for him, but later heard that his motorcycle was spotted under the Soka Bridge
“His wife said that he took one man known as Oris to the Soka area. We reported Oris to the police and he was arrested.”
Sikiru’s father added that before his son took Oris to Soka, he first took an Islamic scholar who lives around Kudeti to Bodija.
“On their way, Oris called him on the telephone and he turned back, taking permission from Alfa (Islamic scholar). It was the Alfa that alerted us that Oris was my son’s last passenger. My son is alive and he will come back home one day. I appeal to the police to help find him,” he said.
Sikiru’s wife, Mujidat, said, “I have three children for him. The last time I called him was some minutes after 8pm on Thursday. I am a tailor, but since my husband’s disappearance, the care of the children has been my burden.”
On claims by some friends of Sikiru that he called them and said he was in a dungeon, his father said, “I am not sure about the claim. If he were to call anyone, he would have called me or his older brother.”
Sikiru’s brother, Waheed, said he and six other boys from the Kudeti area were the first to discover the kidnapped people in the forest.
“Outside the building, we met a man drinking beer, as soon as he saw us, he called his colleague who had a gun. He shot at us, so we ran towards the bank of the nearby Ogunpa River. They spoke Hausa, but one of us who understood the language said that the one with the gun said that he had only one more bullet in his gun. So we stoned them until they ran into an abandoned building. We called the police and met nine women in a room and some in other rooms, chained to the wall,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Security Council on Tuesday, affirmed its resolve to apprehend perpetrators of the dastardly act at the Soka area.
Addressing journalists after the meeting headed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the commissioner of police, stated that preliminary investigations had revealed that the den of kidnappers had been in existence since about 10 years.
“That place has been there for a very long time, perhaps about 10 years. It was initially used by a construction company, and later, the site was abandoned. Kidnapping had been on, but government was not aware of it,” he said.
Ndabawa said a team of forensic pathologists had been sent from the Force headquarters, Abuja,
“They were on the site yesterday (Monday) and they will continue their work before the demolition of the structures at the forest.” he said.