KIDNAPPERS in Kaduna have taken abduction to new heights when they kidnapped two go-betweens sent to deliver a ransom for the release of two children of a bishop who they earlier abducted.
Over recent years, kidnapping has become brisk business in Nigeria with millionaire kingpins emerging from what has become a fast-growing business. According to Reverend Joseph Hayab, the chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, things have taken on a new dimension now as two persons were abducted by bandits after collecting the ransom from them and failing to release the children of the bishop.
Reverend Hayab added that the senior pastor of the Nagarta Baptist Church, Makeri, near Udawa in Chikun Local Government Area of the state, was still being held by his abductors three weeks after he was kidnapped. He appealed to security operatives to rescue the cleric and the bishop’s children.
Pastor Elisha Numan and his son, Emmanuel, were reportedly abducted by heavily armed men from their residence three weeks ago. However, the son was later released so as to be used as a negotiating contact.
The abductors later called the family through Emmanuel to demand N20m ransom after they had threatened the pastor’s son to raise the money or his father would be killed within three days. Later, the kidnappers reduced the ransom to N7m, according to the Reverend Hayab, who revealed that one of the kidnapped sons of the bishop was nine years old and appealed to his abductors to release him, because he is not strong and mature to go through this torture.
“Reverend Elisha Numan of the Baptist Church, Angwan Makeri, and the two children of one of our bishops in Kaduna are still with their of kidnappers. They were abducted about three weeks ago and are still being held in captivity till date.
“The church and their families are helpless and traumatised, so we are once again calling on security agencies to do the needful and help secure the release of our people. Reverend Elisha was sick when he was kidnapped and we are afraid for his health.
“The son of our bishop is just nine years old. He is not strong and mature to go through this ordeal, so we are appealing that these innocent people should be released,” Reverend Hayab added.
On a brighter note, the gunmen, who abducted the wife of the Anglican Bishop of the Ikeduru Diocese in Imo State, Anuri Maduwuike, have set her free. She was released after an undisclosed amount was purportedly paid as ransom.
The bishop’s wife, who was waylaid and abducted on Friday at Ekemele, while she was going home from Owerri, was set free on Sunday by her abductors. One church source said that the kidnappers had earlier demanded N8m as ransom but refused to disclose how much was paid for the woman to regain her freedom.