From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than four Benue indigenes, among them, two newly called up National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, have been reportedly kidnapped on their way from Benue to report at their state of primary assignment in the core northern part of the country.
Those who were kidnapped, according to sources include Jennifer Iorliam, a graduate of Benue State University posted to Kebbi State, Joseph Zakaa Aondona, Sedoo Gundu, and Sechivir.
According to Judith Benson, an
elder sister to one of the kidnapped victims, her sister, Jennifer along side three others were abducted from the Benue Links bus they were traveling in at Tsafe Local Government area of Zamfara State on Tuesday this week.
It was learnt that the Benue Links Bus carrying eight passengers was intercepted by bandits in Zamfara State and four of the passengers were abducted by Zamfara bandits while four others including the driver of the bus managed to escape.
Benson stated further that the kidnappers had already reached out to them and demanded N2million ransom each for each of the victims.
She explained further that her sister, Jennifer Awashima Iorliam, was posted to Kebbi State for her one year mandatory NYSC when the vehicle (Benue Links) she boarded from Makurdi was intercepted by bandits.
“I was told that eight passengers were in the vehicle including the driver but four of the passengers including the driver escaped.
“It was this morning (Thursday) that they contacted me through my sister’s phone and demanded N2million from each of the victims and they said that was the last.
‘The kidnappers are holding my sister and three others, all Tiv from Benue State, and are demanding a ransom of N2 million per person to be paid to them cash in Gusau, capital of Zamfara State.
‘When the incident happened, we were able to contact the driver who said that he had reported the incident to the police.
‘We went to the park (Benue Links park in Makurdi) and they confirmed to us that one of their vehicles was intercepted and promised to get back to us but as at this time (4:35pm) they were yet to tell us anything.
‘Two of those kidnapped, male and female were going for NYSC orientation, another female who was also kidnapped is a student of Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto while the other girl is visiting relatives and they are all Benue indigenes,’ Benson said.
Contacted on telephone, spokesperson of the organization, Martina Iorchir told newsmen that she was on leave and could not answer any question on the incident.
‘I am driving and not in any position to answer your question because I’m on leave,’ Iorchir said and cut the line.
Also contacted, Commissioner for Work and Transportation, Alexander Shaapera said told newsmen that he was unable to reach the General Manager of the organization on phone at the time of this report.
“I tried her (GM) phone but she didn’t pick my call”, the Commissioner said.