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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Abductors of UNIABUJA staff demand N300m ransom

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Gunmen who kidnapped six persons from the University of Abuja Staff Quarters on Tuesday have demanded N300 million ransom.

It was gathered that the gunmen contacted the mother of one of the kidnapped boys and asked for N50 million each for the abductees.

A source in the university said that the gunmen have opened a line of communication, using the woman to pass their demands across.

The source said: “The kidnappers contacted the woman whose son is with them. They allowed her to speak with the boy , then they told her what their demands are.

“The kidnappers asked for N50 million each for the six persons kidnapped.”

Asked if the university is involved in the negotiations, the source said: “The University is not involved. They contacted the woman whose child they abducted and they permitted her to speak to her son.

“They refused to speak with individual family members.

“It is not advisable for the university to get involved directly. That is the truth.

“If the families are negotiating they may even get a better deal so to speak. If it is the university that is negotiating with them , you know that they will not budge.

“It is better for the families to negotiate, when they come down , then the university can do whatever it dims fit to do. I think that is the strategy.”

The spokesperson for the FCT Police Command, DSP Josephine Adeh, couldn’t be reached for comment as at press time.

Gunmen suspected to be bandits, in the early hours of Tuesday, invaded the University’s staff quarters and abducted four lecturers and some of their children.

The gunmen were said to have stormed the staff quarters in Giri and held lecturers hostage.

It was gathered that the gunmen numbering about 20 gained access to the staff quarters from the east end of the permanent site of the university, close to the mountains, pulled down the fence and attacked houses in the area.

Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, in 2020, complained about the presence of bandits in the university community.

The VC, in a statement by the Head, Information and University Relations, Dr. Habib Yakoob said staff and students were “living in fear of bandits.

“The truth is that this great university is in trouble right now. I say this because we have all sorts of people who are living on the campus, who are using the land without respect for the environment.

“It is worse now because bandits are coming in and taking over land both within staff residences and outside. Our students are being attacked; we are living in fear of bandits. Some of the indigenes give land to these bandits without really knowing them.”

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