Gunmen Aduct Sierra Leonean Diplomat, Demand $40m Ransom

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By Alex Enumah in Abuja
 

Gunmen have demanded the sum of $40m as ransom for the kidnapped Sierra Leonean diplomat, Nelson Williams who was said to have been abducted yesterday along the Abuja Kaduna Expressway.

The victim, a Deputy High Commissioner, was said to be on his way to a military graduation in Kano State when he was kidnapped.

Sierra Leonean Information Minister Mohamed Bangura announced the kidnap of the envoy from the capital, Freetown.

While the minister did not say a ransom was demanded by the kidnappers, staff at the embassy however disclosed that the kidnappers almost immediately contacted the embassy to demand the sum of $40m for the safe return of the Deputy High Commissioner.

According to report the victim was taken at gunpoint from his vehicle between Abuja and Kaduna. The report also had it that the victim as at the time of the kidnap was traveling in convoy with an armed police escort.

Recall that only last week, three Australians, two Nigerians, a New Zealander and a South African were traveling in convoy with armed police officers when they were attacked by gunmen in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.

 The incident witnessed the killing of a Nigerian driver, while five of the hostages were injured. The victims were all workers of an Australian construction company.

Though they have since been released, however it is yet to be known how much was paid for their release if any was paid.

With the kidnap of Williams in less than two weeks after the Calabar incident, the menace of kidnapping is said to be have reared its ugly head making nonsense of whatever the nation may have achieved recently in driving out insurgency in the land.