Kidnappers Demand N150m For Release Of Sani Toro

Kidnappers Demand N150m For Release Of Sani Toro

Abdullahi Idris, Bauchi

Former Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Alhaji Sani Toro, former Assistant Coach of the Nigeria Super Eagles, Garba Yila; and one of their friends, Alhaji Isa Jah, have been abducted by gunmen.

Our correspondent gathered that they were kidnapped around a village in Nasarawa State.

They were said to have been on their way back to Bauchi from Abuja where they attended the wedding of the son of a former NFF president, Aminu Maigari, on Saturday.

They had left Abuja around 5pm and were kidnapped around 7.30pm.

A family source, who confirmed the incident to the press on Sunday, said the kidnappers had demanded N150 million as ransom.

The source said the hoodlums spoke to their host, Maigari.

“Yes, it is true that he (Isa Toro) was driving with two of his friends when they were kidnapped yesterday (Saturday). The kidnappers are demanding a ransom of N50m for each of them”.

A family friend and Toro’s neighbour, Mallam Ardo Hazzad also confirmed the incident to our correspondent.

He said, “One of them, the former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, Yila, is not in a good condition, health wise.

“It is unfortunate and pathetic for the incident to have happened after they went for the wedding of one of our friends. If I was aware of the wedding, I would have been with them because I would have travelled to the wedding in Abuja”.

The Bauchi State Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakili, who confirmed the abduction, said he could not give details of the incident as it happened outside the state.

Wakil, a Superintendent of Police, said, “Yes, the news is true. I got across to one of his sons who told me he was kidnapped around Akwanga road in Nasarawa while returning from Abuja”.

A former Deputy National President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Umar Sai’du, described the incident as sad and disturbing, saying it would send panic to sports administrators, as well as sportsmen and women.

Sa’idu, who is the current Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Bauchi State, said the rising insecurity is worrisome.

“Consider the 20 premier league clubs we have in the country; how many of them can afford to travel by air? Some of them used to travel throughout the night and that means they are not safe’’, he said.

It would send a wrong signal to our sports sector that nobody is safe, especially sports administrators.

“It will discourage sportsmen and women because they will refuse travelling to some parts of the country because of the fear of being kidnapped or killed”.

Special Adviser to the Bauchi State governor on Security, Marcus Yake, described the incident as sad and unfortunate.

“I don’t think that they were really targeted because of who they are. I think it was just random kidnapping. I was personally not happy that they followed that road because it is dangerous and it was at night. There are a lot of bushes and they are known for criminal activities.

“There have been kidnappings, banditry and criminal activities especially at night because even people who travel through that road in the daytime are not totally safe, let alone at night”.


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