As best as I can tell, militant groups in oil-rich Edo, claiming that more of the oil wealth should go to the people, commonly kidnap people for income. Archbishop Imasuen’s ransom is an unusually high one.–JW
From The Will:
A relative of the Bishop said the kidnappers have made contact demanding N50 million naira for his release.
Abductions have been rampant in the ancient city of Benin. Anyone can be taken for a ransom: Doctors; nurses; businessmen and women, petrol attendants; vulcanizers; street traders; students; etc, have been kidnapped in the past for ransoms ranging from N5, 000 (Five thousand naira) to N30, 000,000 (Thirty million naira).
BARELY one month after Federal Government withdrew soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force, JTF, code named Operation Thunderstorm created by Edo State Government, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese and state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Peter Imasuen, was abducted, yesterday, by suspected kidnappers. . . .
It would be recalled that the spate of kidnapping in the state reduced drastically after the military were drafted into the security outfit which was set up by Governor Adams Oshiomhole to check the activities of kidnappers and armed robbers.
However, residents of the state were gripped by fear last week when the Minister of Defense, General Godwin Abbe, an indigene of the state, surprisingly ordered the withdrawal of soldiers serving in the security outfit for alleged political reasons.
Thousands of indigenes of the state throng the streets to protest the decision, prompting the Benin monarch, Oba Erediuwa, to also call on the Federal Government to recall the soldiers after the weekend’s Etsako Central House of Assembly re-run election, which was the reason the soldiers were withdrawn.
“We are trying to establish what exactly happened but we understand the kidnappers are asking for 15 million naira (about $100 000),” said Salifu.