By Abiodun OBA
After spending four days in the custody of kidnappers, the chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Philip Aivoji, has regained his freedom.
Alhaji Hakeem Amode, the Lagos State PDP Publicity Secretary confirmed the release of Aivoji on Monday morning but would not confirm whether or not there was any payment before his release.
The abductors had earlier contacted Aivoji’s family, demanding for a N200m ransom to set him free.
“We use this opportunity to appreciate your prayers; and to thank you all for your concerns and prayers,” Amode said.
Aivoji was kidnapped on Thursday at Ogere area of Ogun on the Ibadan-Lagos expressway.
The party chairman was returning from the PDP South-West zonal meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday.
The party thanked security agencies and government authorities that facilitated his freedom.
Aivoji was abducted by unknown kidnappers last Thursday, Jan. 25 at about 6.00 p.m. on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway while returning from a stakeholder meeting in Oyo State convened by Gov. Seyi Makinde and Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun.
While announcing the abduction of the Lagos PDP Chairman, Amode said, “It is disheartening that kidnapping has become a prevalent issue in our country, and the government’s inability to address this menace is deeply concerning.
“The abduction of Aivoji underscores the pressing need for decisive actions from the government and stakeholders to eradicate this menace.
“Aivoji’s abduction was a violent incident, and his current whereabouts or any communication from the abductors remain unknown.
“We implore the governments of Oyo State, Ogun, and Lagos State alongside security agencies, to expedite efforts and secure his safe return to his family and well-wishers,” he said.
The PDP spokesman said that with increased efforts from security agencies, Aivoji would be rescued from these criminals.
“We call on the public to support initiatives aimed at ending this threat to innocent lives,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, the PDP 2023 governorship candidate, who expressed shock over the news of the kidnapping of the party chairman, demanded urgent action against insecurity.
Adediran, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Gbenga Ogunleye, recounted that Aivoji and some other members of the party were kidnapped while on their way from a party function in Ibadan on Thursday.
He described the incident as unfortunate and a disturbing dimension to the growing insecurity in the country, especially in the southwestern part of the country.
According to him, the government must intensify efforts in the area of security to end putting the lives of the citizens in grave danger.
“We demand urgent action from the security agencies to facilitate the immediate release of the abducted party chairman.
“We also advise that the regional local security outfit, Amotekun, should collaborate with the police in this rescue mission,” Adediran said.