By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE kidnappers of Edo State-born musical ace, Osayomore Joseph, have made contact with the family, demanding for an “outrageous amount” for his freedom.
It was the same situation with the abductors of the Executive Director of the Ogba Zoo in Benin, Mr. Andy Ehanire.
Vanguard learned that the kidnappers, who invaded the state, are said to be high profile ones and their victims’ continued stay in their detention was the inability of the families to pay the demanded sum.
Though the source refused to disclose the amount being demanded as ransom, it was learned that the abductors of Mr. Ehanire are demanding N350 million, while that of Osayomore Joseph are demanding N200 million.
A close family source from the musician’s family told Vanguard that “the family has been contacted, but honestly the money they are talking about is outrageous.
“It is not affordable because there is no way the family can find that kind of money. Osayomore is just managing his life right now and does not have such money.
“We are only appealing that they should free him unhurt. The family is not rich; they are only managing just like any other Nigerian. We are begging them to see reasons and release him because his health is not in the best state.”
The Edo State Police spokesman, Moses Nkombe, said the Police was doing all it could to ensure that both Managing Director of the Zoo, Dr. Andy Ehanire, and the veteran musician were freed unhurt for them to re-join their families.
Recall Osayomore was abducted last Tuesday by gunmen at about10p.m. at Orovie village, off Upper Ekewan Road in Egor Local Government Area, Benin.
His wife was trying to dissuade the gunmen to leave her husband, but was shot in the head.
The veteran musician was said to have been abducted after he performed at the palace of the Oba of Benin.
On his part, Dr. Ehanire was kidnapped on September 24, while the three policemen stationed at his Ogba Zoo and Nature Park were killed by the kidnappers.
Andy is the brother to the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.