The traditional ruler of Aghara, Chief David Obadofin, in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State, has died in the custody of his abductors.
Obadofin was said to have passed on last Thursday, 12 days after he was kidnapped when he could no longer withstand the torture of his captivity.
In a related development, Temidayo Elewa, his co-abductee, has been set free. Her port of entry to freedom was Obajana, the cement town in Lokoja LGA, from where family members picked her up on Saturday morning, straight for medical attention at an undisclosed hospital.
A source involved in the negotiation for their release disclosed this to Channels Television on Monday in Lokoja.
It was gathered that when the abductors noticed that Obadofin was becoming too weak, they agreed to collect N2 million for the release of the two victims and started mounting pressure for the payment.
While they blindfolded Temidayo and separated her to a different location, the monarch died before the ransom could be delivered.
Conscious of the advance of a search group, made up of hunters, vigilantes, and some Fulani volunteers, the gunmen set Temidayo free. She allegedly roamed the jungle alone that Thursday to Friday. After many hours, she met a sewing machine operator who eventually led her to freedom.
Claims that the search party nabbed one of the suspects who has allegedly helped in efforts to recover Pa Obadofin’s corpse could not be ascertained.
Obadofin, a major cashew farmer, and Temidayo were abducted on Easter Monday from his farm residence in Aghara at about 11 pm. The gunmen shot Madam Toyin Onare, a widow who was on the farm as a labourer.
Toyin was rushed to the hospital in Kabba, the headquarters of the LGA, about 35 minutes’ drive away. Unfortunately, she was confirmed dead on arrival.
There were concerns about the monarch’s chances of survival as he was said to be on medication for age-related diseases aside from the trauma and rough treatment he received from the gunmen.
The Kogi State Police Command confirmed the attack.
The gunmen made contact the following day, demanding N60,000,000 ransom. The late chief allegedly said the gunmen fed them with roasted yam.
“This is a terrible situation. Fulani herdsmen have long surrounded us. We raised alarm when they started coming, but our concerns were ignored. Now we are seeing the result. This is unfortunate. The government should quickly come to our rescue,” an anonymous source said.
Gunmen attacks are becoming regular in the area. In November, another widow narrowly survived a rape attempt in Takete Ide when a herder attacked her on her way from the farm.