Vigilantes survey the damage in the village of Bakin Kogi, in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria, that was recently attacked by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on February 24, 2017. Long-standing tensions between herdsmen and farmers have flared up again in Kaduna state, northern Nigeria, leaving possibly hundreds dead in tit-for-tat violence. Last weekend at least 21 people were killed and several homes were destroyed when suspected cattle drivers attacked five farming communities.But the clashes between the Muslim, largely Hausa-speaking Fulani cattle drivers and the mainly Christian farmers have escalated since December, when a Fulani chief was killed. / AFP / STEFAN HEUNIS (Photo credit should read STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Abiodun OBA

On the payment of N4million ransom, Chief Emmanuel Obafemi, a traditional Chief in Ijan Ekiti, Gbonyin Local Government area of Ekiti State, and two other kidnapped cocoa merchants have been released by their alleged abductors.

They were said to have been released along Ikere road around 3am on Wednesday and had since reunited with their families.

Recall, Obafemi was abducted on his farm located along Ado-Ijan road last Thursday and taken to an unknown destination.

The two cocoa merchants, who are residents of a farmstead called Ilupeju-Ijan were picked up on Saturday along Ijan-Ise road.

A family source revealed to journalists in Ado Ekiti that Obafemi paid N2 million before he was  let off the hook, saying “I can confirm to you that Chief Obafemi paid N2milliom while the two other cocoa merchants paid another N2million making a total of N4m before they were released around 3am today (Wednesday)”.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the release of the abductees, saying they had since rejoined with their families.

According to him, “They were released around 3am this morning. They are now with their families safe and sound. But let me say that the release was as a result of the hardwork put up by the combined forces of police, Amotekun Corps and local hunters, who combed the forest in search of the abductees.

“We assure Ekiti residents of their safety always while urging them to always avail us of useful information that can help in safeguarding the lives and property of our citizens”.

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