31 passengers from the Edo train were allegedly abducted on Saturday by hoodlums, who reportedly wanted an N620 million ransom in exchange for their release.
The kidnappers made their demands on Monday, according to activist and Executive Director of Esan Youth for Good Governance and Social Justice Benson Odia. They want N20 million for each victim.
“I can tell you that the kidnappers have demanded N20m, totalling N620m. This is absurd and I don’t know where poor people will be able to raise that amount of money,” he told newsmen.
However, Chidi Nwabuzor, the spokesman for the Edo State Police Command, was unable to confirm it.
Before Chris Nehikhare, the Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, revealed that six people out of 31, had been saved, Odia made his assertion.
The commissioner said in a statement, “Following the directive from Governor Godwin Obaseki that the kidnappers that attacked the train in Igueben on Saturday be smoked out of their hiding and the persons abducted be rescued, we are happy to announce that six persons have been rescued.
We commend the efforts of the rescue team in the bushes and their support staff that have been working tirelessly since the incident occurred to ensure the kidnapped passengers are rescued and reunited with their families.
“We are confident that the other victims will be rescued soon as the highly motivated security personnel are in high spirits and have doubled down on the hot chase of the kidnappers.’’
“As events unfold in the bushes, be assured that we will keep you posted and we crave the support of all stakeholders, particularly the media, to stay with the facts and avoid sensational reports that could further inflict emotional pain on the families and friends of the victims who are already in distress. Operation Bush Combing continues,” Nehikhare added.
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