Apprehension and anxiety have gripped the families of eight National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members from Akwa Ibom State, who were abducted in Zamfara State over two weeks ago while en route to their Orientation Camp in Sokoto State. The deadline for the abductors’ ransom demand, set at N8 million, is set to expire today, intensifying fears of potential dire consequences.
Families of the victims have recounted the harrowing experience of receiving calls from the kidnappers, who initially demanded N4 million from each of the victims on the first day of their captivity. The victims, which included eight NYSC members and their AKTC driver, were subjected to this traumatic ordeal on the night of August 17, 2023.
A source, who requested anonymity, shared, “The mother of the boy (name withheld) started crying because as a poor widow and petty trader, she could not afford such an amount of money. The following day, Saturday, the abductors contacted us again and decided all parents of their victims meet to jointly raise N10 million.”
The families rallied to raise N5 million, but the kidnappers then requested additional funds for three power bikes, each costing over N1 million. The kidnappers set a deadline of Wednesday, September 6, for the remaining N8 million, including the power bike costs, to be paid, warning of dire consequences if the deadline is not met.
Since the abduction, families of the victims have faced a daunting challenge in securing the necessary funds. Protests were made to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, but as of now, there has been no government intervention to assist in ensuring the release of the victims.
Relatives of the kidnapped NYSC members continue to seek support from their community, with local leaders contributing funds in a bid to raise the outstanding N700,000 required to meet the abductors’ ransom demand. Their desperate efforts reflect the deep concern for the safety and well-being of their loved ones as the deadline looms ominously.