Kidnapped Akwa Ibom NYSC members: Parents, families resort to prayers, fasting

11:42 Sep 14 2023 Akwa ibom

As abductors demand fresh N200M after receipt of agreed N13M
Victims 26 days in kidnappers’ den
Stakeholders angry with govt, police
By Egufe Yafugborhi & Chioma Onuegbu

UYO – FRUSTRATED families of eight Akwa Ibom state graduates kidnapped in Zamfara state since 17 August on a bus journey to Sokoto state National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp, have resorted to fasting and prayers on the fate of their children as the abductors denied them freedom after receiving N13Million demanded ransom.
A brother to one of the victims told Vanguard on anonymity Tuesday that the abductors were now demanding two hundred million Naira (N200M) additional ransom to grant freedom to the seven Corps members and the Akwa Ibom Transport Company (AKTC) bus driver being held captive.
The source said, “We don’t know how we are going 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 of a million (to make up the N13M ransom negotiated) they waited for a long for the kidnappers to release our brothers and sisters, but they didn’t.

“They said instead the kidnappers contacted them to demand for N200M ransom. We have paid the sum of N13M already. First, we paid N5M, and later N8M to make up N13M. Some parents sold their lands, and some even collected loans to be able to raise the N13 million.

“We have not received any help from government. We found it difficult to raise that N13M, so how are we going to raise this fresh ransom of N200m? 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, so helpless.”

Another relative close to one of the victim’s parents said the victims’/families were particularly worried after being told on Monday that the health condition of their children was deteriorating as a result of the nature of the place they are being held captive.

The woman who could not hide her anguish lamented, “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 believe in God to help us bring back our children. God will not fail us. The parents don’t have the kind of money those people are demanding. Where would they get that kind of money?”

Vanguard had reported last week that after the first release of N5M of the initially negotiated total ransom of N13M by the families, the abductors gave them up till Wednesday, September 6, to pay the outstanding N8M.
When the helpless families could not meet the deadline, the captors extended the grace period to Saturday September 9, 2023 in response to pleas by parents of the victims asking for more days to enable them raise the outstanding N8M.
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