FOUR days after the abduction of the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Mr. Freddy Ndigbara, his captors have asked for a N100m ransom.
Ndigbara, who anchors Amaechi’s programme within and outside Government House, Port Harcourt, was kidnapped on Sunday while preparing for an All Progressives Congress rally at Kaani, in the Khana Local Government Area of the state.
Ndigbara was said to have been accosted and forced into a waiting car by his captors at the APC rally venue.
The hoodlums, according to an eyewitness, had stormed the rally venue in a red Toyota Highlander SUV, made a quick search for their target and forced him into the car.
A source in the Khana Local Government Area told our correspondent that Ndigbara kidnappers swore not to release the victim without the payment of the N100m demanded.
The PUNCH learnt that Ndigbara’s abductors demanded for the sum after establishing contact with a member of his family.
“Yes, they have established contact with Freddie’s (Ndigbara) family and they (kidnappers) are demanding N100m before they will release him. Everybody is sad that this is happening to Freddie.
“He (Ndigbara) is a gentleman and does not deserve what happened to him. We are appealing to those holding him hostage to release him. He is not a rich man,” a source told our correspondent in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Ahmad Mohammad, told our correspondent that efforts to rescue Ndigbara were in top gear.
Mohammad said he was not aware that the kidnappers had demanded ransom for the victim’s release.
“Investigation and efforts toward rescuing the kidnap victim are in top gear. But I am not aware of any demand for ransom by his abductors,” the state police spokesman said.
Governor Amaechi had alleged that the abduction of his deputy chief press secretary was politically motivated.
Amaechi, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Mr. Tony Okocha, had said that Ndigbara and one of the political leaders in Kaani, Mr. Celestine Akpobari, had been able to convert over 5,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC.
He had said, “Of course, Freddy Ndigbara’s abduction is politically motivated. We are aware that Ndigbara, in league with the Celestine Akpobari, was able to convert over 5,000 PDP members to APC.
“There is nothing wrong or extraordinary in what he (Ndigbara) did because we are in a political setting where the in thing now is to win political converts. Winning new convert was what Freddie did before he was kidnapped.”