Gunmen have kidnapped a Swiss national, Andred Beita, and his Nigerian driver who is simply identified as Ifeanyi, in Ogun State.
Police authorities in Ogun have confirmed the incident, saying it occurred along the Ibese-Itori Road on Saturday.
The spokesman for the command, Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, explained that the victims were seized by bandits as they were coming from a farm in the area.
“They were intercepted… Two of the bandits were killed, but they succeeded in abducting two – a Swiss national and another person,” he said. “The police are on the trail of these people.”
The assailants were said to have exchanged gunshots with a team of policemen attached to a farm in the area before the abduction.
In the process, two civilians were injured and rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Switzerland authorities also confirmed the incident in a statement by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) on Monday.
“The FDFA and the Swiss embassy in Abuja are in contact with the local authorities,” they said. “The FDFA is coordinating activities with the various departments of the federal administration relevant to this type of case.
“For reasons of personal and data protection, the FDFA cannot provide further information.”
Although not so rampant in the South compared to the North, children – especially students, public office holders, and foreign workers have occasionally been targeted for kidnapping for ransom.
This is prevalent in the north-west and north-central regions of the country, where bandits have abducted over a thousand students in different states in the last year.
Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Niger are some of the states where schoolchildren have been abducted – a situation that has gravely affected education in the states.
The rate of kidnapping Niger is becoming worrisome as the Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Idris, is the latest victim of abduction by bandits in the state.
While state and federal governments are working to address the security situation in the country, the Switzerland authorities are also taking a proactive measure to prevent a reoccurrence of Saturday’s abduction.
“The FDFA’s travel advice for Nigeria draws attention to the risk of politically or criminally motivated kidnappings across the country,” the FDFA’s statement said.