JUST IN: Kidnappers of 31 Edo train passengers demand N620m ransom

Gunmen who abducted 31 Edo train passengers have reportedly called victims’ family members to demand N620m ransom for their release.

The Executive Director, Esan Youth for Good Governance and Social Justice, Benson Odia, disclosed this in a statement on Monday, January 9, 2023.

According to him, the kidnappers who made their requests known to the victims’ family members were demanding N20m for each victim.

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Odia described the demand as absurd and appealed to the authorities to intensify efforts at rescuing those still being held captive by the gunmen.

When contacted, the police spokesperson Chidi Nwabuzor said he would confirm the veracity of the claim.

Meanwhile, the Edo State commissioner for information and orientation, Chris Nehikhare, has said six of the 32 persons kidnapped at the train station had been rescued.

The victims were waiting at the Ekehen-Igueben train station to board a train to Warri, Delta State at about 4.00 pm when the gunmen struck.

Giving an update yesterday on the efforts to rescue the victims, Nehikhare said among the six victims rescued included a 65-year-old man, a nursing mother and her baby, a six-year-old girl, and two siblings.

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He said the rescue operation was carried out by a combined team of security agencies which embarked on what he termed “Operation Comb the Forest” and appealed to members of the public to give useful information that could lead to the release of other captives.

Also, the NRC MD, in an interview with Channels TV on Monday, said the agency had got approval to acquire sophisticated security systems.

On whether lessons were learnt from the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train, he stated, “We learned a lot from the last attack.

improved our security by increasing the number of personnel; vigilantes, army, police, and some technology but we are not there yet.“We have to continue to improve and make sure that we get the required result.

“On Itakpe-Warri, we have engaged the local community to protect and also support the security architecture we have in place.

“So, I think we have improved but there is nothing that cannot be sabotaged with the will and determination of the saboteurs.”

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