by Oge Okonkwo
Kidnappers of Augusta Douglas-Ayam, the sister to the Presidential Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Oronto Douglas were said to have made their demand of N500 million ransom.
According to reports,the abductors were said to have contacted the husband of their victim and demanded the said amount to free the 48-year old woman.
Mrs. Douglas-Ayam was abducted by unknown gunmen at about 8 p.m. on Monday night in Ogbia town, Bayelsa state.
Douglas-Ayam was seized and whisked away to an unknown area in the creeks by nine gunmen who wore army uniforms.
The assailants that operated on a black speedboat abducted her at the Ogbia waterside at about 8.45pm on Monday after shooting into the air.
But after keeping mum for four days, the kidnappers contacted the woman’s husband at about 2am on Thursday and asked for a whooping N500 million.
A source from the family said the call was brief and straight to the point.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, said efforts by the family to contact the kidnappers again through the number proved abortive.
But he said the kidnappers allowed the husband to speak to the wife.
He said: “The kidnappers said the money should be given to them on or before Friday this week otherwise they will kill our sister and drop her corpse where we will pick it.
“We tried to call the number they used in calling the husband but it did not go through. The amount they asked for is outrageous. Where do they expect us to get that kind of money?
“We know they are in business but this particular demand is not reasonable. The kind of money they asked for could only be gotten from the Central Bank or from the treasury. We asked them to make their demand reasonable but they angrily cut off the phone.
“We could hear our sister crying at the background. She was sick before she was kidnapped. This is very painful. We are still waiting for their call. We appeal to them to release our sister. We don’t have such money.”
A top security source also confirmed that the kidnappers demanded the ransom but said it would surely be negotiated downwards.
He said security operatives were monitoring the situation with care because of its delicate nature.
“The kidnappers should have a rethink and release the woman because no matter what they do, we will get them,” he said.