The abductors of a Kaduna State-based ophthalmologist, Ganiya Olawale-Popoola; her husband, Nurudeen Popola, and their guest, AbdulMugniy Folaranmi, at the National Eye Centre Quarters located at the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, have reportedly insisted on a N100m ransom before their release from captivity one month after.
PUNCH Metro gathered from a family source who spoke on conditions of anonymity that despite efforts made by the family to negotiate a reduction in the ransom, the abductors had insisted on the N100m ransom.
PUNCH Healthwise had reported that the gunmen allegedly broke into the ophthalmologist’s residence on December 27, 2023, around 1 am, and kidnapped the doctor, her Air Force officer husband who is a Squadron Leader, and their 16-year-old guest.
It was learnt that nothing was heard from the kidnappers until the fourth day when they called and demanded the payment of N100m as a ransom before their release from captivity.
Our correspondent gathered that the kidnappers allegedly threatened to kill the couple if the N100m was not paid before January 18.
The family source disclosed that the kidnappers reached out to the family on Friday insisting that they would kill the victims if the ransom was not paid.
The source said, “The kidnappers reached out to us on Friday. Anytime they reached out, they asked one of the victims who understood Hausa and English to speak with us. They insisted that they were not going back on the N100m ransom.
“We have pleaded with them to even consider collecting N20m which the family was able to raise but they refused. Everyone in the family is in a state of confusion as to what could be done.”
The source further stated that when the family reached out to the Air Force and police authorities, they were told that they were working to secure their release without getting the victims hurt while appealing to the necessary authorities to help secure the release of their family.
“We have reached out to the police and the Air force but what they kept telling us was that they were working to get them released from their abductors. They (the police and Air Force) told us that they had been careful not to get the victims injured while rescuing them.
“We are appealing as a family to the Nigerian government to help us secure the release of our family members. It has been over a month since they were abducted and we are exhausted as a family. There is no way we can raise the N100m ransom the kidnappers are demanding,” the source said.
When contacted on Monday, the Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, Mansir Hassan, said the command was making efforts to get the abductees released without casualties.
“There are lots of kidnapping cases that we recorded in recent times. We have been able to rescue some of the victims and arrest some of the kidnappers. The police are not relenting in making sure that all the abducted victims are rescued from their abductors but we want to make sure there is no casualty while we are rescuing them,” Hassan disclosed.