HELPFUL families of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members from Akwa Ibom abducted in Zamfara by gunmen on their way to Orientation Camp in Sokoto State over two weeks ago are gripped in anxiety as the abductors’ ransom ultimatum ends Wednesday.
Speaking to Vanguard on Tuesday in Uyo, some families of the remaining eight victims revealed receiving calls from the abductors to deliver a ransom balance of N8Million by Wednesday (today) or expect bad news, despite having previously released N5Million.
The latest development comes as the Akwa Ibom State Government continues to remain silent on the victims’ and their families’ suffering two weeks later.
“That young man left Akwa Ibom Wednesday 16th August 2023 with other Corps members, and on Thursday night August 17th they kidnapped them on their way to Sokoto,” a relative of one of the victims told Vanguard in confidentially.
“They contacted us on Friday.” The first day they were kidnapped, they sought N4 million in ransom from each of them (victims). The AKTC driver made them nine out of eight NYSC members.
“The boy’s mother (name withheld) began crying because she, as a poor widow and petty trader, could not afford such a large sum of money.” The abductors contacted us again the next day, Saturday, and decided to gather all of the victims’ parents to raise N10 million.
“The families were able to raise N5 million, which was sent to them.” It would have stayed at N5 million if they hadn’t later demanded money for three power motorcycles. And, according to our research, each Powerbike costs at least N1 million.
“They spoke to us again on Monday this week, giving us until Wednesday, September 6, to pay the remaining amount.” So we’re talking about N8 million, not including the money for the powerbikes. And they advised us not to miss the deadline if we don’t want to receive bad news.”
According to our source, the government has made no attempt to assist in obtaining the victims’ release since all family members of the victims protested to the State House of Assembly about their condition.
Another to another or the kidnap victims who simply identified themselves as Mfon expressed that they have been restless since the abductors gave them the Wednesday (today) deadline.
“We’ve been looking for people who can help us raise this amount in any way.” Just this morning, the village head and his wife offered us N300,000 to help us.
“We are still looking for N700,000 to make a million on our part because each family must contribute one million naira to complete the outstanding N8 million ransom,” Nfon lamented.