By Tony EDIKE
Kidnappers of the wife and children of a popular Nollywood actor, John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu from Enugu State, yesterday, reduced the ransom they are demanding for their release from the initial N50 million to N6 million.
A gang of hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers had Tuesday night invaded the Agbani Road home of top actor in the Coal City and abducted his wife and three children.
The criminals who reportedly came in a BMW car later released two of his children, a boy and girl, but were still holding the wife and one of the sons as at the time of filing this report.
Speaking with reporters on phone yesterday, Okafor expressed dismay over the continued withholding of his wife and son by the kidnappers, saying that he has continued to plead with them to release them but all to no avail as they have insisted on getting the money before doing so.
“I am in touch with them, even before your call came in, we just finished talking and they are seriously demanding N6 million and nothing less before they could release my people. I’ve pleaded with them; I wish they will hear my cry and release them,” he said.
Asked whether the police had made any impact in tracking down the suspected kidnappers, Mr. Ibu said “No”, but expressed hope that the police would make an in-road before long.
Expressing optimism that the kidnappers would soon free the victims, Okafor attributed the increasing rate of crime and criminality in the south east to the activities of politicians whom he accused of arming innocent, frustrated and jobless youths with dangerous weapons, because of their greed for power.
He said: “If you ask me to comment more on this incessant issue of kidnapping, I will blame it on desperate politicians who are the ones arming these jobless youths. My family and friends are praying that God should touch the hearts of these kidnappers so that they can release my wife and son immediately without any harm or ransom.”
Efforts to speak with the Public Relations Officer of the Enugu Police Command, ASP Ebere Amaraizu on the development failed yesterðay as he did not pick his calls.