Abductors of Yohanna Sidi Kukah, a traditional ruler in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna state, have threatened to kill him over the failure of his family to raise a N20 million ransom.
The traditional ruler is the younger brother of Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto diocese of the Catholic Church.
He was abducted at his private residence in Anchuna village around 9pm on Tuesday.
The kidnappers had initially demanded N100 million but it was reduced to N20 million when the family told them that they had no money.
A family source said the kidnappers threatened to kill the monarch if the ransom was not paid within 24 hours.
Those holding the monarch reached the family through a call to Kukah’s wife and the leadership of the Ikulu Development Association.
The traditional ruler was said to have complained about swollen legs during the brief telephone conversation, having trekked a long distance to the kidnappers’ hideout in the forest.
“The kidnappers telephone us with His Royal Highness mobile phone and asked why we have not paid the N100 million ransom and we told them that we don’t have the money,” the source said.
“We pleaded with them to release him, but they reduced the ransom to N20 million and warned that if we don’t pay within 24 hours, they will kill him. They allowed the chief to speak with his wife and leadership of the Ikulu Development Association.
“He told us that he cannot walk because his legs were swollen after trekking a long distance into the kidnappers’ hideout in the forest.”
One of the monarch’s guard was also abducted along with him. It is not clear if the N20 million ransom covers him as well.