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Kidnappers demand extra N200m to free A’Ibom NYSC member


Kidnappers demand extra N200m to free A'Ibom NYSC member

Kidnappers of eight Akwa Ibom State graduates, abducted in Zamfara State on their way to Sokoto State for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Orientation Camp, have demanded an additional N200 million as ransom, after collecting N13 million earlier paid by the victims’ families.*

The victims, who were kidnapped on August 17, have spent 26 days in the kidnappers’ den. The victims were traveling with an Akwa Ibom Transport Company bus from Uyo, Akwa Ibom, to Sokoto State when their vehicle was intercepted.

Desperation has gripped the families of the abducted youths as they grapple with the kidnappers’ demands for an even larger ransom.

The families had initially paid N13 million to secure the release of their loved ones, but the abductors are now demanding an additional N200 million.

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A source, who wished to remain anonymous, shared the families’ plight: “We don’t know how we are going to raise that kind of money.”

“Everybody was shocked when two parents, who have been over there since the incident happened, told us that after they released the balance N8 million (to make up N13 million ransom negotiated), they waited for long for the kidnappers to release our brothers and sisters, but they didn’t.”

“They said instead, the kidnappers contacted them to demand N200 million ransom. We have paid N13 million already. ”

“First, we paid N5 million, later N8 million to make up the N13 million. Some parents sold their lands, some even collected loans to raise the N13 million.”

“We have not received any help from the government. We found it difficult to raise that N13 million. So, how are we going to raise this fresh ransom of N200 million?”

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“We have deliberately kept this development from my mother. I don’t think that poor widow will survive if she hears this. We are suffering and helpless.”

Another relative close to one of the victims’ parents expressed concern about the deteriorating health conditions of the kidnapped youths: “In fact, all the parents and their family members have resorted to fasting and prayers. Our children in captivity told us to pray for them, that they are very weak.”

“As we speak, I just returned from church. We are believing in God to help us bring back our children. God will not fail us. The parents don’t have that kind of money those people are demanding. Where would they get that kind of money?”

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Last week, after the families had paid N5 million of the initially negotiated total ransom of N13 million, the abductors set a deadline of September 6 for the outstanding N8 million to be paid.

When the families could not meet this deadline, the captors extended the grace period to September 9, 2023, in response to pleas by the victims’ parents.

Many concerned individuals in Akwa Ibom State have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the failure of government and security agencies to rescue the victims after three weeks of their abduction.

So far there has been no response from the Akwa Ibom State Police Command’s collaboration with the Zamfara State Command on the rescue of the victims.