Kaduna State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab, has lamented the high rate of kidnappings in Kaduna State,
Hayab disclosed that in the last four years, the church in the state had paid over N300 million as a ransom to kidnappers while over 500 Christians were abducted within the same period.
He disclosed further that more than 20 churches, especially, those located in communities along the Kaduna-Abuja road had been closed as people living in those villages had since relocated following the activities of kidnappers.
“In the past four years, Christians in Kaduna State have suffered a lot.
“Generally, people in Kaduna State have suffered a lot in paying kidnappers ransom to ensure the release of either their family member or church member or neighbour or someone they know.
“It is sad to know that the church alone, from our statistics -ECWA Church, Baptist Church, Anglican Church, Catholic Church, and many other churches in Kaduna whose members have been kidnapped, have had to cough out between N200,000 to N8 million to kidnappers to secure their release.
“In the last four years, the church in Kaduna has paid over N300 million to kidnappers in the last four years,” the CAN Chairman said.
He said the most recent and embarrassing of such payments of ransoms was that of a pastor of Friendship Church Kudenda, a suburbs of Kaduna which the kidnappers insisted that the N600,000 ransom they agreed to collect after negotiation, must be accompanied with cigarettes worth N10,000!
He further recalled that in Kachia, a Reverend Father was abducted and a ransom of N1.5 million was paid but he was not released since three months ago, “an indication that he might have been killed.”
Hayab said further that: “In many of our villages along Abuja road, people have abandoned their homes and relocated to places like Buwaya, Gonin-Gora, Romi and other suburbs around Kaduna metropolis as a result of the activities of kidnappers.