Seventy-two hours after suspected herdsmen kidnapped 32 train passengers in Igueben Area of Edo State, the kidnappers were said to have contacted the families of the abductees, demanding a Ransom of N20 million each.
The kidnap victims, it would be recalled, were waiting to board a train to Warri in Delta State, when the herdsmen invaded the station and abducted 32 intending travellers.
Disclosing the demand for ransom, Comrade Benson Odia, Executive Director Esan Youth for Good Governance and Social Justice, on Monday said the Kidnappers had made contact with some families of the kidnap victims, demanding N20 million for each victim.
Odia, who described the demand as absurd, called on the authorities to intensify efforts in rescuing the 31 abducted persons that are still being held by their abductees.
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He also said that the Minister of Transportation and Nigeria Railway Corporation boss were at Igueben to access the situation themselves.
He added there was assurance by the authorities p to engage the use of helicopter on Tuesday as part of the efforts to locate where the victims were kept in the bush.
“I can tell you that the kidnappers have demanded N20 million, totalling N620 million. This is absurd and I don’t know where poor people will be able to raise that amount of money”, Odia lamented.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Government had earlier said that six victims, out of the 31 kidnapped victims had been rescued.
Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation Chris Osa Nehikhare, announced this on Monday at a press conference.
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This was as the commissioner assured that the search and rescue team had doubled down on its rescue efforts.
According to Nehikhare, ‘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 (6) persons have been rescued.
“The six persons are: a 65-year-old man, a nursing mother with her baby, a 6-year-old girl and two siblings; aged two and five years old.
When contacted on the ransom demand, the Edo Police Command Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Chidi Nwabuzor, said he would confirm the veracity of the claim.