Kidnappers Demand N620m Ransom On Edo Train Victims


BY ONYEKACHUKWU IBEZIM – Suspected herdsmen who abducted 32 train passengers in the Igueben Area of Edo State are said to be demanding a total ransom of N620 million for the release of their victims from captivity.

Coming about 72 hours after the unfortunate incident, reports indicated that the kidnappers have already contacted the families of the abductees with a demand of N20 million to be paid as ransom for each of the abductees.

The Executive Director of Esan Youth for Good Governance and Social Justice (EYGGSJ), Comrade Benson Odia, made the disclosure on Monday, saying the Kidnappers made contact with some of the abductees’ family members to demand N20 million for each victim.

Describing the demand as absurd, Comrade Odia urged the relevant authorities to intensify efforts in rescuing the 31 abducted persons still being held by the kidnappers, even as he disclosed that the Minister of Transportation and  Nigeria Railway Corporation boss have visited Igueben to appraise the situation on the ground.

He said; “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”.

However, the Executive Director hinted that assurance has come from the authorities to engage helicopter services on Tuesday as part of the efforts to locate where the victims are being kept in the bush.

In a related development, the Edo State Government stated that six out of the 31 kidnapped victims have so far been rescued.

The Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare announced the good news at a press conference on Monday, assuring that the search and rescue team is currently doubling down on its rescue efforts.

Nehikhare said; “Following the directive from Governor Godwin Obaseki that the kidnappers who attacked the train in Igueben on Saturday be smoked out of their hiding and the persons abducted rescued unharmed, we are happy to announce that six (6) persons have already 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.”

But when contacted on the said ransom call, the Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Edo Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, promised to confirm the veracity of the claim and make his findings public soon.

Recalled the kidnapped victims were waiting to board a train to Warri in Delta State when the suspected herdsmen invaded the station and ferried away 32 intending passengers while others were injured in the process.

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