The agrarian community of Akunu-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State was over the weekend held in the jugular by kidnappers.
The kidnappers who were armed to the teeth had abducted some travellers in the community and whisked them into the bush after sporadic gunshots to scare residents.
However, the gunshots did not deter hunters, vigilante groups and youths in the community as they launched a manhunt to rescue the travellers who were seven in number.
With their knowledge of the terrains of the community, the hunters and the vigilante were said to have caught up with the kidnappers who fired shots at them.
Following the exchange of gunfire between the kidnappers and the hunters, one of the kidnappers was said to have been killed which forced the other gang members to abandon their victims and take to their heels.
The travellers who were on transit through the community to the northern part of the country were said to have been rescued unhurt.
According to the regent of the town, Princess Tolani Orogun, when the news of the abduction of the travellers filtered into the town, the vigilante group in the community, hunters and youths swung into action and started combing the forest towards rescuing the travellers.
“The efforts of the brave and courageous group and youths yielded fruits as the kidnappers exchanged shooting with them.
“The gun duel led to the death of one kidnaper while others fled. And the seven travellers were rescued unhurt.”
While confirming the development, the Police Area Commander for Ikare-Akoko, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Razak Rauf said the remains of the dead kidnapper had been deposited in the mortuary of a public facility in the local government.
Akunu, Ikakumo and Auga axis of Akoko which shared boundaries with Edo and Kogi State had in recent times witnessed lots of security challenges, particularly kidnapping, banditry and armed robberies, especially on the highways within the community.
Meanwhile, a farmer from the agrarian community, Michael Bello disclosed that due to the security situation of the area, many farmers are now scared of going to their farms for the fear of been kidnapped or killed.
On his part, the chairman of Akunu Akoko community, Ade Aboginije appealed to the government to consider the peculiar position of Akunu-Akoko as a gateway to Ondo State which borders Edo and Kogi States and increase the number of surveillance and security to man the axis to safeguard lives and property of residents.
Hunters, vigilante kill kidnapper in gun duel, rescue seven abducted travellers in Ondo