Kidnappers of passengers on the bus service of God Bless Ezenwata Nigeria Limited have demanded for N100 million ransom, The Eagle Online has been told.
The bus, which was travelling from Sokoto in Sokoto State to the Eastern part of the country, was attacked on the Kaduna-Zaria Expressway on Tuesday night.
It was while the attack was ongoing that the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum, Alhaji Umaru Bubaram, ran into the gunmen, who then started shooting sporadically, killing for aides of the monarch and two others.
The kidnappers also took several of the passengers, including a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps, and another person who just completed his service year, into the bush.
While some of those kidnapped were rescued by operatives of the Kaduna State Police Command, others are still being held hostage.
The kidnappers, a credible source in Sokoto told The Eagle Online, have contacted the Ezenwata to pay a ransom of N100 million.
The source said the ex-youth corps member was travelling home for the burial of a close relative in the East.
The demand comes two days after the Kaduna State Police Command promised it will ensure the safe rescue of all those kidnapped.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, gave the assurance in a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Sabo said the attack, near Maraban Jos, at about 10:45pm, was carried out gunmen in large numbers, dressed military camouflage, who intercepted some commuters along the highway.
He said: “Upon receipt of the information, the Command immediately mobilized teams of operatives with Armored Personnel Carriers to the scene where some victims of the attack were rescued.
“However, sadly, six persons, including four aides of the Emir were reported dead while five others sustained varying degree of injuries.
“Both the dead and injured victims were recovered and taken to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital for deposition and treatment.
“The Command assures members of the public that, it will ensure the safe rescue of the victims of this ugly incident and calls on the good citizens of the State to continue to support the Command with relevant information that could help the Police to fish out criminals from our midst.”
Sabo added that the Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, has directed that more police operatives be deployed along the axis to reinforce the existing operational units of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Anti-Kidnapping and Police Mobile Force personnel currently in operation.
He equally alerted intelligence gathering units in the area to redouble their effort to ensure that the victims are rescued unhurt and the culprits brought to book.
Sabo explained that Muri had visited both the scene of the incident and the injured persons, including the Emir, at Barau Dikko Hospital and assured them of efforts being made to rescue the victims.