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Kidnappers Of Edo Train Passengers Demand N20m Per Victim

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There are indications that the gunmen who kidnapped over 30 passengers at a train station in Edo State on Saturday have made contact with some families of the victims, demanding N20 million for each.

There are 31 persons currently in their custody.

Reacting to the development, Executive Director, Esan Youth for Good Governance and Social Justice, Benson Odia, described it as absurd and called on the authorities to intensify efforts in rescuing the abducted persons.

He said, “I can tell you that the kidnappers have demanded N20 million, totalling N620 million. This is absurd and I don’t know where poor people will be able to raise that amount of money.”

However, according to reports, the spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said he is yet to confirm the veracity of the claim.

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The victims, reportedly, were waiting to board a train to Warri in Delta State when they were abducted on Saturday afternoon by gunmen who took them into the bush.

Some staff members of the Nigeria Railway Corporation were among the victims whisked away by the hoodlums.

The Federal Government has condemned the attack, describing it as  barbaric and assured that the security forces are doing everything possible to rescue the captives.

Odia also said that the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo and the Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Fidel Okhiria were at Igueben to assess the situation.

Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare,  in a statement, disclosed that six victims had been rescued, adding that efforts were ongoing to rescue the remaining 26 victims.

“The six persons are: a 65-year-old man, a nursing mother and her baby, a six-year-old girl and two siblings; aged two and five years old.

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“We commend the efforts of the rescue team in the bushes and their support staff that have been working tirelessly since the incident occurred to ensure the kidnapped passengers are rescued and reunited with their families.

“We are confident that the other victims will be rescued soon as the highly motivated security personnel are in high spirits and have doubled down on the hot chase of the kidnappers,’’ Nehikhare stated.

According a report, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has deployed police special squads, including the Intelligence Response Team and Anti-terrorism Squad to Edo State to rescue the victims.


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