In a harrowing turn of events, the families of the prospective corps members from Akwa Ibom State, abducted on August 17, 2023, en route to their orientation camp in Sokoto State, have continued to endure unimaginable distress.
The abductors, demanding exorbitant ransoms for their release, have plunged the families into a state of desperation.
Mr Mfon Friday, a member of the affected families, revealed to Vanguard that the escalating demand for ransom has reached a staggering N30.8 million.
Expressing vehement frustration and concern, he recounted the parents’ ordeal in facing the kidnappers’ demands.
He said the captors had not released the victims despite payments totalling N30.8 million, including a previous payment of N17.2 million and an additional N13.6 million.
“Our children are still in Zamfara bush, including the driver of AKTC, and it is over 100 days since they were kidnapped,” lamented Friday.
“The kidnappers demanded another N70 million this week, threatening dire consequences if the amount isn’t paid promptly,” he added.
According to a source within the affected families who spoke on condition of anonymity, the released female victims from last month were seriously ill, and the remaining seven captives are reportedly unwell.
The kidnappers’ demands for a substantial ransom allegedly stem from the sickness of the corp members, heightening fears for their safety.
The families’ desperation has led to a plea for urgent intervention from government authorities, well-meaning citizens, and the general public.
One of the victim’s siblings, who spoke in confidence after the affected families met in Uyo on Tuesday, disclosed that the abductors were paid the N17.2 million ransom before they released the female victims last month, who they gathered were seriously sick.
“In fact, I learned that the remaining seven have also fallen seriously sick, and that is why the kidnappers are demanding this huge ransom and threatening that if we don’t pay very soon, those children will die. I am scared; I don’t want my sister to die. We are orphans, we struggled to go to school,” she lamented.
The absence of swift action to rescue these young graduates has fueled frustration and anxiety among the families, prompting calls for immediate assistance to prevent a tragic outcome.
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