…2 released after paying ransom
No fewer than 23 passengers, who boarded a coastal bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA), have been kidnapped while traveling during the week to Katsina State.
Our Correspondent learnt that two of the abducted passengers have been released after their families paid the ransom demanded.
It was reliably gathered that the driver of the bus (name withheld) allegedly connived with the kidnappers to perpetuate the act when he followed a wrong route that the company prohibits for their passengers and vehicles.
It was learnt that the said vehicle which conveyed the passengers had since been travelling with passengers to other routes but not driven by the said driver.
The passengers, who were helding for Katsina State were apprehended along the Jos highway in Plateau State.
One of the victims, Emmanuel Ayodele, who was to go for an official assignment, was released in the early hours of Friday, and confirmed that they were abducted after the driver parked the vehicle along the bushy area, saying “he was going to get fuel. We asked him to take us to where there are houses and people he left us and few minutes later we were rounded up and they filed us into a bush path.”
Ayodele said: “At this time they (kidnappers) only selected 23 of us and left those whom they felt may not have money (ransom) to pay. They took our phones and asked us to mention those they can contact to save our lives. I gave my wife’s number and that was how they started the negotiations.
“I can’t say how much was paid but it was millions of naira. Others are still there, I do not know the place because they blindfolded me before dropping me off somewhere.”
A devastated family member, who said her brother was among those abducted, said: “He was going to the Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State to do documentation after securing an appointment.”
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