Kidnappers of an Anglican priest in Delta State, Rev. Anthony Oyi, have reportedly turned their backs on the distraught relatives following an apparent poor negotiation of amount to be paid as ransom by a member of the family.
The hoodlums who struck on Saturday morning, were said to have opened their line communication on the evening of the fateful day with the victim’s brother, Francis, demanding a ransom of N15 million for the cleric to breathe the sweet air of freedom.
However, Mr. Francis was said to have told the kidnappers that the family could only raise N200,000.00, a development that angered the hoodlums who have since switched-off their phone.
Accordingly, local sources said the action of the abductors has heightened the tension in both Issele-Mkpetime, the victim’s hometown, and Oko-Ogbele where he is based, as he continues to be held incommunicado.
“As we speak now, no one can tell what is going on after the hoodlums turned their backs on the family because they were dissatisfied with the manner of negotiation for ransom.
“But I also know that the family members are running around, making frantic calls to see if they can raise a substantial amount of money in case the kidnappers decide to call back,” a source volunteered.
As at the time of filing this report however, the abductors were yet to re-open their line of communication to possibly continue ransom negotiation.
But the state police command has vowed to rescue the victim unhurt and arrest the hoodlums, maintaining that it will not encourage anybody to pay ransom.
Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, she said her men were doing everything possible to trap the suspects and free the cleric.
She affirmed that as at last night, men of the command from Onicha-Olona and Issele-Uku divisions and vigilante personnel were still combing the bush in search of the kidnapped priest and his abductors.
Onovwakpoyeya promised to establish contact with the officers to know how they were progressing with investigations.
Rev. Oyi had gone to his farm at Issele-Mkpetime in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state on Saturday morning when the hoodlums struck, taking him and another man into hostage.