Kidnappers of the worshippers in Ondo State have demanded N50 million as ransom for their release.
Benjamin Akanmu, Regional Superintendent of the Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C), Odubanjo Headquarters in Akure, revealed this to Daily Trust on Saturday night.
Akanmu said the gunmen got in contact with him using the mobile phone of one of the worshippers.
“One of those in captivity called to inform me that their abductors are demanding the sum of 50 million Naira as ransom.”
“In the process, one of the abductors grabbed the phone from him and said we must provide the 50 million Naira immediately if we indeed love our members,” he said.
According to him, 20 worshippers travelling for the burial ceremony were abducted as against twenty-five being reported in the media.
He disclosed that the abducted church worshippers were mostly “choristers” who embarked on the journey to Ifon for the Christian wake in honour of one of the organists of the church who was to lay his father to rest this weekend.
“They (victims) took off from Akure on Friday and were supposed to be back today (Saturday) after the burial.
“It was around 4 pm on Friday that someone called me that a bus belonging to the church was seen abandoned by the roadside around Elegbeka, and nobody was inside at the time
“The caller said he suspected the passengers had been kidnapped and so we started contacting our members and security agencies. That was how I got to know,” Akanmu said.
He, however, added that the members of the church had gone spiritual and embarked on a marathon prayer for the rescue of the worshippers.
“Nine of the victims are currently with the abductors while 8 have regained their freedom but we cannot ascertain the whereabouts of 3 other members.
“I believe God will help the security agencies to rescue the 9 individuals still in captivity and apprehend the perpetrators of the criminal act,” Pastor Akanmu said.