January 22, (THEWILL) – Contrary to claims by the Edo State Government and security agencies that no ransom was paid to secure the release of the 20 abducted victims kidnapped by gunmen, who attacked the Igueben train station, a family member of one of the victims has said her family paid ransom to the kidnappers for the release of her sister.
According to Nigerian Tribune, the family member, who identified herself as Favour, a native of Ebudin in Esan Central Local Government Area of the state, claimed that her family paid N2 million to effect the release of her elder sister, who she said was part of the Warri-bound trail passengers abducted in the attack.
While Favour has not disclosed the identity of the person, who delivered the ransom to the kidnappers, she, however, insisted that money was collected to release her sister, who was among the set of 12 victims rescued by security operatives.
Recounting her experience, Favour said “It was not really easy for us. The kidnapped person is my elder sister, who stays in Warri, Delta state with her family.
“When I first heard of the incident, I almost collapsed because we have been travelling in vehicles but with the spate of kidnappings, we felt we are not secured and we started using the train and now this kidnap happened.
“It was really hell for everybody in the house, I wasn’t myself at all but I have to thank God that they have been released.
“The kidnappers called my brother, they were communicating with him. They were asking for a ransom of N20 million and my brother told them we don’t have much money, they were talking on the phone, and although the government was also doing something to release them, we gave them N2 million and I thank God that they were released.
“My sister was released last Sunday and she was among the 12 and we were really happy. I didn’t know the exact place they were released but when we heard, my brother had to go to Benin and brought her back home.
“When I heard that she had been released I was really happy. I also appreciated the government because they did not just abandon us, they made efforts and I was impressed.
“I thank God I was not there on that day because initially, I wanted to follow my sister to the train station but because I had other things to sort out at home that was why I didn’t follow her to the train station, if not, I would have been a victim too, I don’t know what would have happened. But for now, I won’t use the train.
“Government needs to increase security in that area because the railway is cheaper for us as a means of transportation and it is okay for travelling but we need security. I thank God but I want the government to do more on security.”