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Soludo’s dad freed for N10m

ONITSHA — PA Simeon Soludo, 78-year-old father of former Governor of the Central Bank, CBN, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, who was kidnapped penultimate Tuesday was released by his abductors, Wednesday night, after receiving a N10 million ransom.

A family source told Vanguard that the septuagenarian was dropped off along the Oko-Umunze road near Isuofia, his home town in Aguata Local Government Area around 9:00pm.

Contacted, the Divisional Police Officer in Aguata, Mr Samuel Dang, declined comments on the matter. He however referred Vanguard to the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO.

On his part, the PPRO, Mr Chukwuemeka Emeka, said Pa Soludo was released around 6.50pm but said he could not talk on the ransom because it did not concern the force.

Newsmen who stormed the home of Pa Soludo in Isuofia as early as 8:00am yesterday were disappointed as they were neither allowed to speak with him nor take his photograph.

His children told reporters that they would hold a press conference on the kidnap in Abuja.

Although the family refused to confirm how much was paid as ransom, a source close to the family who pleaded anonymity said N10 million was paid before the man was released by his abductors.

It would be recalled that the kidnappers had initially demanded a ransom of N500 million before coming down to N300 million, then N200 million before finally accepting the said N10 million.

I’m emboldened, says Soludo

On his part, Professor Soludo said he was emboldened by the ordeal his father went through.

Speaking with newsmen yesterday in Abuja at the National Secretariat of the PDP, the party’s candidate for the 2010 Anambra February 6, 2010 governorship election who noted that he was very excited on hearing of the release of his father.

He said: “I’m very excited and I give all glory and adoration to God almighty. I think God has answered the prayers of millions of Anambra people and Nigerians. So, we simply say to God be the glory.

“We are emboldened by the experience that we passed through for the nine days he was in captivity. So we have resolved to serve Anambra and to serve Nigerians. And it has emboldened us also to make kidnapping history in the state and wherever we can find it.

“It’s a harrowing experience and you don’t wish that for your enemies, so to speak. But it brought home realities about insecurity of lives and property in the state and the need for all of us to rededicate our lives to make it better than we met it.”

Asked if he had spoken with his father since his release, Soludo said “Yes. I spoke to him immediately he was released last night and we have also spoken this morning. I think he is frail and will probably need some medical attention.”

Campaign Organisation thanks all

Meanwhile, the Soludo Campaign Organisation in a statement by one Dom Obiekie said it was relieved that Pa Soludo has been released.

“According to the police, he was released around 10pm on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 along the Uga Road in Aguata. Pa Soludo, father of the PDP Governorship candidate for the Anambra State 2010 election Professor Chukwuma Soludo is now undergoing medical examination to ascertain his health condition following the physical, psychological and emotional trauma which he experienced in the course of the unfortunate incident.

“After his medical examination and treatment, the Soludo family would have a quiet reunion with their patriarch. There would be no formal briefings.

“Meanwhile, we acknowledge with thanks, the concerns shown by individuals and groups, including friends, well-wishers, associates, the security agencies and the media during this trying moments,” the statement added.


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