The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State said on Thursday that over 500 of its members were kidnapped in the last two years, adding that the body had paid over N300m as ransom.
The State Chairman of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, who spoke in Kaduna, warned against the activities of bandits, armed robbers and other criminal element in the state who had turned to kidnappings, saying in one village alone, the church paid N20m.
He lamented that the activities of the criminals had forced inhabitants of 10 villages to flee from their homes to other parts in the state.
“We have been computing the numbers of Christian population kidnapped in Kaduna State in the last two years, over 500 of them that we know — either in the villages or in town — have been kidnapped.
“The people have moved out of some settlements completely and we have closed down our churches because of the activities of the kidnappers”.
“We are still computing, but at the last count, the church has coughed out over N300m as ransom to kidnappers. In the case of the chief of Kajuru that was killed, it was N8m that the kidnappers took.
“There was a Reverend Father in Kachia, they took about N1.5m. They still killed him. In Dankande, Birnin-Gwari, they collected over N7m before they released those people to us.