Chairman of the Christian Association Of Nigeria in Kaduna, Joseph Hagan, has said churches in the state spent over N300m to secure the release of members kidnapped in the last four years. Hagan made the revelation during an interview with TheCable on Friday.
He said over 500 members of CAN had been abducted in the state between 2015 and 2019, adding that more than 20 churches especially those located in communities along Kaduna-Abuja Road, had been shut as people living in those areas had relocated as a result of the activities of kidnappers.
He said, “In the past four years, Christians in Kaduna State have suffered a lot. “Generally, people in Kaduna have paid kidnappers a lot of ransom to ensure the release of either their family members or church members or neighbours or someone they know. “It is sad to know that the church in Kaduna has paid over N300m to kidnappers in the last four years.”
Hagan said the most embarrassing of such ransoms is that of a pastor whose kidnappers insisted that the N600,000 ransom must be accompanied with cigarettes worth N10,000.
According to him, in Kachia, a reverend father was abducted and a ransom of N1.5m was paid but he has not been released after three months, an indication that he might have been killed.
He added, “We don’t collect our offerings to give kidnappers, our offerings are supposed to be used for evangelism and catering for the needy. “Now the money we are supposed to use for evangelism so that evil in the society would be reduced is being spent on paying ransom to kidnappers.”
Spokesperson for the Kaduna Police Command, Yakubu Sabo, was not available for comments as of the time of filing this report. He neither answered calls nor responded to a text message sent to his mobile number.