Onimisi Alao, Yola
Fate of kidnapped divisional police officer (DPO) in Adamawa State remained uncertain up to Saturday afternoon, as the kidnappers have insisted on a N20 million ransom, with family and friends nowhere near such a sum and the state police command insistent that it has no hand in ransom negotiation.
The DPO in Mubi North Local Government Area, Mujeli Ahidjo, was abducted on November 26 by gunmen who have been heard on video insisting on either being given complete N20 million ransom or they would kill the DPO.
In the video clip, the voice negotiating on behalf of the DPO’s family is heard saying he was sure the sum of N500, 000 had been raised, against which an apparently angry leader of the kidnappers replied that they were not jokers but were out for serious business.
The kidnapper asserted in the video, which must have been made earlier but went virile on Friday evening, “I must tell you that we are right now holding three people, including the DPO. The two other people will be released on Thursday. If you fail to pay the ransom of the DPO, we shall surely kill him.
“I will assure you that if N5 is missing from the N20 million ransom demand, you will only come to collect his dead body if you are lucky, otherwise you may not even see the dead body.
“Look for Aliyu his brother and whatever you discuss, let me know.”
The Thursday in question evidently meant November 28, but it was unclear as this report was being concluded Saturday afternoon what exactly was happening to the DPO.
The state Police Command spokesman, DSP Sulaiman Nguroje, who gave an update to our correspondent, indicated that the DPO was yet to regain freedom, and insisted that the police command had no hand in negotiation for ransom payment.
“The Command has deployed Operation Puff Adder and Operation Sarauter. They are now combing the bush, blocking all the exits and making all necessary efforts to see how they can free the DPO and apprehend the abductors,” Nguroje said.