Kidnappers demand N5m ransom for release of Dangote cement workers

The abductors of workers at Dangote Cement Company Plc, at Okpella Community, in Etsako Area of Edo State, have demanded N5m ransom from the family of a victim, Abah James Ogwu, who is currently in their den.

Pageone confirmed that Ogwu and his colleagues were kidnapped last week Monday after their staff bus was waylaid on their way home by some yet-to-be-identified men at the aforementioned community.

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers laid an ambush, emerged from the bush and forced the Coaster bus conveying the Dangote Cement workers to their homes, to a halt at gunpoint before whisking their victims into the bush while some others sustained bullet wounds.

The son of a victim, Victor Ogwu, told our correspondent on Tuesday that the kidnappers reduced the ransom to N5m from N15m after several pleas and negotiations during different telephone conversations with his mother and uncle.

He said, “My dad works in the administrative department, and he was kidnapped as well. The kidnappers called my mother and uncle last week Wednesday. They also called two days later that N15m was the ransom. We pleaded with them that we could not afford it, so they called on Saturday and said they had reduced it to N5m.

“We have raised N2m with the help of friends, families and the proceeds from the land we sold in the village. Today, those kidnappers called my uncle and he told them that he has N2m, but they have not said anything since then. We are still waiting for their call. I have been begging online for funds because we do not have enough money for the ransom.

“I do not know if the Edo State Police Command is making any effort to ensure their release because I and my mother are based in Ogun State. I want Dangote Company and the police force to intervene in this case, and help us out.”

Efforts made to contact the spokesperson for Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, proved abortive as he did not respond to calls and texts as of the time of filing this report.

But when contacted, the spokesperson for the Edo Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, assured the correspondent that an investigation was on to facilitate the victims’ release, as he referred to reports made by the command on the Internet.

“Investigation is ongoing, that is the situation on the ground. According to our report on the Internet, some of the victims, with gunshot injuries, were rescued”, Nwabuzor said.

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