The kidnappers of a Baptist pastor in Yakila town, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, have demanded a N10 million ransom for his release.
Reverend Yohanna Bitrus Gyang, the pastor in Charge of Shiyona Bastist Church, was abducted by bandits three weeks ago.
The gunmen stormed the community on Thurday, March 18, went directly to the cleric’s house and whisked him away.
The victim was taken into Zamfara forests by the bandits following the involvement of local vigilante in his initial release plan.
It was gathered that the kidnappers had earlier demanded for two brand new Bajaj motorcycles each costing N500,000; 100 litres of petrol and recharge card of any network valued at N100,000, but after negotiation, the bandits agreed to half the demand.
According to reports, when the ransom was taken into the forest, they were unaware that some local vigilantes were following behind, and immediately the ransom was collected, the vigilante group members opened fire on the bandits killing two of them instantly.
However, other bandits were able to escape with the ransom but didn’t release Gyang. Fresh negotiations took place between the bandits and the cleric’s relations, with the kidnappers demanding N5million for his freedom.
A senior church member told THISDAY that on Monday morning, April 12, the bandits increased their demand to N10million.
The state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Mathias Echioda, who confirmed the latest development said they are praying for his safe release.