The kidnappers of the Director of Finance of Isa Local Government in Sokoto State, Alhaji Bello Bodinga, and three others, have demanded for a N250 million ransom, according to the State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Abdulkadir.
Bodinga was on Monday abducted by nine gunmen that were clad in military uniform along Sokoto-Isa road.
Abdulkadir told newsmen in Sokoto on Wednesday that the three other victims were Bodinga’s Deputy, Alhaji Abdulkadir Ibrahim, Staff Officer, Mrs Hassana Mohammed, and the spokesman of the state chapter of the Medical and Health Workers Union, Alhaji Bello Arzika.
He said that the gunmen operated on three motorcycles, and that they were armed to the teeth.
”They demanded for money but they could not get it.
”They also seized two additional motorcycles, fled into the forest, but they are now holding them captive in a forest near Moriki village in Zamfara.
” I was there yesterday with a team of my officers to enforce their freedom, but we retreated sequel to the request of the Chairman of Isa Local Government, retired Col. Garba Moyi.
”Moyi said that dialogue was being employed to resolve the matter and that the ransom was being pruned down,” the commissioner said.
Abdulkadir further quoted Moyi as saying that the families of the victims and the authorities of the local government were handling the dialogue.
He, however, said that the state Police Command was still independently tracking the victims and their captors, with a view to freeing them ” in peace not in pieces”.
Commenting, Moyi corroborated the commissioner’s position, saying that the dialogue was ”positively” progressing.
Moyi stated that a contact had been established with the kidnappers through the leader of the repentant cattle rustlers in the area.
According to the chairman, ” we have actually been talking with the kidnappers and they had as at Tuesday pruned the ransom to N1 million.
” Later yesterday, they agreed to release their captors in the night unconditionally but they were not released.
” They asked the District Head of Isa to call them and he did, and anytime from now the victims can be released by their captors unconditionally,” he said.