The kidnappers of four muslim leaders in Rivers State are demanding N4 million ransom, just as it is feared that one of the victims who collapsed in the bush as the kidnappers were dragging him may have died or critically ill.
An eyewitness who spoke exclusively to our correspondent via telephone said that those kidnapped were initially five.
He said the victims were going to Ahoada in Ahoada East local government for a religious programme when they were intercepted at Rumuji axis along the East West road of Emohua local government area of Rivers state at about 10 pm on Thursday December 13.
While confirming the incident, Khalifah Murtala Sulaiman Abdulsalam, who also a Chief Imam and leader of the Tijaniyah Brotherhood of Islam in Rivers State told our correspondent in Port Harcourt, that Alhaji Mukadam Aliyu Abdulhamid who is the General Secretary of the Islamic sect was among those kidnapped.
He listed others as Alhaji Ibrahim Baba, and Alhaji Bashir, a mechanic.
“They were five of them who were intercepted and rounded up in Rumuji on their way to Ahoada for a religious programme. But one of them resisted them and insisted that he would not follow them into the bush.
“He told them he would prefer to be killed and his corpse displayed on the road for people to see than be dragged into the bush. They beat him thoroughly, frisked him and dispossessed him of all the money and personal possessions and abandoned him by the roadside.”
Soldiers in Army patrol vehicle later saw him. He added that to demobilize the abandoned vehicle of the victims, the battery was removed and victim was driven to a safe place in a Police Check Point where he slept overnight.
It was learnt that the news of the kidnap filtered to the leadership of the muslim group in Port Harcourt.
At the time of filing this report,the kidnappers had made demand of N4 million as ransom.
It is not clear what may have become of the fourth victim identified simply as Alhaji Bello.
He was abandoned in the bush when he was exhausted and could no longer withstand the physical pressure of tagging along with the abductors in the bush.
He is said to be in his 60s.
Meanwhile, The Tijaniyah Brotherhood of Islam Rivers State has condemned the kidnap of its general secretary, Alhaji Mukadam Aliyu Abdulhamid and 3 others by the kidnappers along the Ndele, Rumuji Elele Alimini axis of the East – West Road.
“The Brotherhood called for Security Agencies to fish out the miscreants who perpetrated the dastardly acts while expressing serious concerns on the status of the health and the whereabouts of fourth victim, as nothing has been heard about him.
The group also called for the beefing of Security along the whole stretch of the Emohua and Ikwerre local government Areas of the East – West road which, it noted, has become a dark spot for kidnappings and armed robberies to forestall a recurrence of kidnapping and killing.
Khalifah Murtala Sulaiman Abdulsalam told our correspondent via telephone that, “Just in the space of two months, they have wasted four members of Yoruba Muslim community plying that road. We condole with our colleagues families, friends and well wishers over the the ugly incident.
“We call for the immediate and unconditional release of our members because they are innocent and law abiding citizen of the country. Only Allah knows what they are going through in the hands of the deadly kidnappers. We solicit for your continuous prayers for the safe return of our members.”