Kidnappers of eight Akwa Ibom graduates abducted in Zamfara on their way to Sokoto for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp have demanded an additional N200 million as ransom after collecting N13 million earlier paid by the victims’ families.
The victims, who were kidnapped on August 17, have spent 26 days in the kidnappers’ den.
Vanguard reports that frustrated family members have resorted to fasting and prayers after the new demands by the abductors.
A brother to one of the victims quoted in the report said: “We don’t know how we are going to raise that kind of money. Everybody was shocked when two parents, who have been over there since the incident happened, told us that after they released the balance of N8 million (to make up the N13 million ransom negotiated), they waited for long for the kidnappers to release our brothers and sisters, but they didn’t.
“They said instead, the kidnappers contacted them to demand N200 million ransom. We have paid N13 million already. First, we paid N5 million, later N8 million to make up the N13 million. Some parents sold their lands, and some even collected loans to raise the N13 million.
“We have not received any help from the government. We found it difficult to raise that N13 million. So, how are we going to raise this fresh ransom of N200 million? We have deliberately kept this development from my mother. I don’t think that poor widow will survive if she hears this. We are suffering and helpless.”
Another relative close to one of the victims’ parents said the victims’ families were particularly worried after being told on Monday that their children’s health conditions were deteriorating due to the nature of the place they were being held captive.