Men suspected to be herdmen have taken two staff members of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and a resident hostage.
It was gathered that the incident happened in Kogi state on Tuesday close to the company staff quarter SAE (Calabar quarters to be precise) when thethe herdsmen ambushed their victims with sophisticated weapons and forced them into the bush.
The two staffs of the company kidnapped were simply identified as Austin and Prince.
It was reliably gathered that the suspected herdsmen’s numbering about five kidnapped victims but were forced to release one based on health ground.
A family source said on Friday that the kidnappers have contacted their victims’ families demanding for N1.2 million before effecting their release.
“They are four individuals that went to a nearby mountain close to SAE here in Calabar quarters to observe prayers. All of a sudden, we heard that some herdsmen who were fully armed with guns, cutlasses, and other dangerous weapons kidnapped them into an unknown destination.
“It was four persons that were kidnapped. The bandit had to release one because he was very old and could not move faster like the other three. We knew him that he has health issues, and he was falling down repeatedly that was why they had to let him go while others were taken into the bush.
“As I Speak to you, the kidnappers are demanding for N1.2 million. Where will they get such amount of money in this hard time?
“The kidnapped victims are just managing to feed themselves and their families. They are just using farm work to support their current job. With the recent development, many residents are now scared of going to the farm because of the fear of the unknown.
“As I am giving you this information, my farm produce has been stolen by this herders. They enter into peoples farm, harvest what they did not plant, if you are there, it is either you get killed or run away for your life. We have been living in fear. Things are currently getting out of hand due to the recent ugly development happening with the residential area of the steel plant,” he added.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kogi State, William Aya told our correspondent that the command is yet to give official information about the reported kidnap.
He, however, promised to get back to our correspondent within the shortest possible time when he contacts the Divisional Police Officer, (DPO), in Ajaokuta.