By James Azania, Lokoja
Suspected herdsmen have kidnapped two staff members of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and another resident of the steel plant in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi.
The two kidnapped staff were simply identified as Austin and Prince.
It was gathered that the incident happened on Tuesday close to one of the company’s staff quarters (Calabar quarters).
The herdsmen were said to have ambushed their victims and forced them into the bush.
The incident, according to residents, has since thrown many of the workers living within the steel complex into panic.
The abductors were said to have been forced to release one of their victims on health ground.
A family source told The Nation on Friday the kidnappers have contacted the victims’ families, demanding N1.2 million as ransom for their release.
A source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said: “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.
“Four persons were kidnapped. The bandit had to release one because he was very old and could not move faster like the three others.
“We knew him that he has health issues and he was falling down repeatedly that was why they had to let him go while other were taken into the bush.
“As I speak, the kidnappers are demanding for N1.2 million. Where will they get such 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.”
When contacted, Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya, said that the command was yet to get official information about the incident.
He however promised to get back to our correspondent within the shortest possible time when he must have contacted the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ajaokuta.