The Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says the church has paid out N300 million as ransom for 500 Christians who have been kidnapped in the state in the past two years.
While speaking on Thursday, August 8, 2019, CAN’s Kaduna chairman, Reverend Joseph Hayab, lamented that kidnapping and other criminal acts have been turned into a business venture.
He said over 500 Christians have been kidnapped in the past two years alone, forcing inhabitants of 10 villages to flee from their homes.
Hayab said the activities of the kidnappers in the state have also forced churches to close down.
He said, “We are still computing, but at the last count, we realised that the church has coughed out over N300 million as ransom to kidnappers.
“In one village, the church has given kidnappers over N20 million. In the case of the chief of Kajuru that was killed, it was N8 million the kidnappers took.
“There was a reverend father in Kachia, they took about N1.5 million. They still killed him.
“In Dankande, Birnin-Gwari, they collected over N7 million before they released those people to us.”
The reverend called on the Federal Government to pay serious attention to the crisis and put an end to it. He also dismissed reports that he was raising alarm about the crisis for political reasons.
Nigeria has witnessed increased incidents of kidnappings over the past year with millions paid in ransom to kidnappers, especially in states like Zamfara and Kaduna.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, revealed last month that 1,053 suspected kidnappers have been arrested nationwide since January 2019.
506 kidnapped victims were also safely rescued in the same period, 300 of them in Zamfara alone.