Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado-Ekiti
A former Senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, Ayo Arise, who was on Sunday kidnapped by gunmen, has regained freedom.
Sources said Arise himself told some people in the state that he had been freed.
Details of how he was released were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report. It could also not be ascertained where he was released and if any ransom was paid.
Efforts to reach him on the telephone were unsuccessful while no family member was available for comment.
By Thursday, it was gathered that the kidnappers had reduced their ransom from N80m to N50m. However, the President, Oye Progressives Union, which is the umbrella association of the indigenes of Oye, Mr. Akin Omole, confirmed the release of the All Progressives Congress chieftain.
“Yes, I’ve heard from him and he told us that he had regained his freedom. We are immensely grateful to God Almighty and to everyone who acted in one way or the other for his release,” Omole said in a telephone chat with journalists.
He added, “Oye-Ekiti is highly grateful and we are saying thank you. OPU, on behalf of the Oye-Ekiti community, is grateful to everyone who contributed in several ways towards ensuring that our illustrious son is freed without being harmed.”
Arise was kidnapped on Sunday along the Okene-Abuja highway while travelling back to Abuja from his country home in Oye-Ekiti. He was said to be travelling in a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle when the incident took place.
The APC chieftain was said to have attended a ceremony in Ikere Ekiti on Saturday.
Arise was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation between 2007 and 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He later defected to the APC in 2015, having been denied the senatorial ticket of the PDP.