…as gunmen demand N50m ransom for Damishi Sango
Senator Ayo Arise who was on Sunday kidnapped by gunmen has regained his freedom.
Sources said Arise himself told some people in the state that he had been freed.
Details of how he was released were still sketchy as of press time. It could also not be ascertained where he was released and if any ransom was paid.
Efforts to reach him on the telephone were unsuccessful while no family was available for comments.
By Thursday, it was gathered that the kidnappers had reduced their ransom from N80m to N50m.
However, the President of Oye Progressives Union which is the umbrella association of the indigenes of Oye, Mr. Akin Omole, confirmed the release of the All Progressives Congress chieftain.
“Yes, I’ve heard from him and he told us that he has regained his freedom. We are immensely grateful to God Almighty and to everyone who acted one way or the other for his release,” he said in a telephone chat with newsmen.
Omole added, “Oye Ekiti is highly grateful and we are saying thank you. OPU on behalf of the Oye Ekiti community is grateful to everyone who contributed in several ways towards ensuring that our illustrious son is freed without being harmed.”
Arise was kidnapped on Sunday along Okene-Abuja highway while travelling back to Abuja from his country-home in Oye-Ekiti. – Punch.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has dispatched three specialised squads to secure the release of a former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Damishi Sango, who was abducted by unknown gunmen.
The decision came as the kidnappers reduced the ransom demanded for the release of the former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State from N100m to N50m.
Our correspondent reported that an elder statesman and a PDP chieftain in the state, Chief Emmanuel Mangni, was also kidnapped in the attack, which came less than 48 hours to the PDP National Convention.
Mangni is the campaign coordinator of one of the aspirants for the position of PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus.
Also kidnapped are Sango’s son, his driver and police orderly.
They were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Wednesday evening in Jere, along Abuja Road, after Kafanchan in Kaduna State, while on their way to Abuja to attend the convention scheduled for today (Saturday).
The spokesperson for Kaduna State Police Command, Muktar Aliyu, confirmed that the IGP had ordered that the kidnappers be tracked down.
He said, “We have the IGP Intelligence Response Team. There is also the Special Tactical Squad and Anti-Kidnapping Squad. They have all been dispatched and we are making efforts to ensure that we rescue them and arrest the culprits.
“They have mounted surveillance with a view to making sure that we rescue the victims and arrest the hoodlums.”
When contacted, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Plateau State, John Akans, said the kidnappers had reduced their ransom to N50m.
“We are still communicating and negotiating with the kidnappers and they have reduced the ransom from N100m to N50m. We are still negotiating with them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Friday enjoined Plateau State citizens to apply “travel intelligence” on roads while on transit and ensure they report all suspected criminal movements within and around Plateau to relevant authorities.”
He said that the Plateau and Kaduna state governments were working together with security agencies to ensure the rescue of the captives.
A statement by his Director of Press Affairs in Government House, Samuel Nanle, said the governor “is most saddened by this act of inhumanity to man which he condemns totally.” – Punch.