From John Adams, Minna
The abductors of a Baptist pastor in Yakila district in the Rafi, Niger State, have demanded a N10 million ransom for the release of the clergyman.
Pastor Bitrus Gyang, abducted about three weeks ago, was taken into the Zamfara forests by the bandits following the involvement of vigilantes in his initial release plan.
Three weeks ago when he was kidnapped, Gyang’s abductors had demanded for two brand new Bajaj motorcycles each costing N500,000, 100 litres of petrol and recharge cards of any network valued at N100,000. However, after negotiations, the bandits agreed to half the demand.
According to a source close to the church, when the ransom was taken to the forest, they were unaware that some vigilantes were trailing behind and, as soon the ransom was collected, the vigilantes opened fire on the bandits, killing two of them instantly.
The bandits were however able to get away with the ransom without releasing Gyang.
According to findings, fresh negotiations took place between the bandits and the Baptist pastor’s relations, with the abductors demanding for N5 million.
A senior church member told our correspondent that following the delay in the payment of the N5 million, the bandits on Monday increased their demand to N10 million.
State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Reverend Mathias Echioda, when contacted, confirmed the story, saying: ‘We are praying for his release safely.’
However, it was further gathered that early Monday morning, the bandits again struck in the area, kidnapping not less than three villagers
It was learnt that several houses were destroyed by the bandits who were angered by the abscence of their occupants when they struck.
The police is yet to confirm the story.