Gunmen abduct Plateau PDP chairman, demand N100m

A former Minister of Sports and Plateau State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Damishi Sango, and four other persons have been abducted by gunmen who have demanded N100m ransom.

The other persons that were kidnapped are one of the PDP elders in Plateau State, Chief Emmanuel Mangni; Sango’s son, his driver, and his police orderly.

 Mangni was said to be the coordinator of one of the aspirants for the position of PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus.

The PDP national convention, during which the election for the party’s national executive will take place, is scheduled for Saturday.

Although the details of the incident were still sketchy, sources said the victims were abducted on Wednesday along Jere Road, in Kaduna State while on their way to Abuja to attend the convention.

The Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Plateau State, John Akans, confirmed the incident in an interview with PUNCH Metro in Jos on Thursday.

He said, “Our Chairman, Chief Damishi Sango, and four other persons, comprising his son, driver, orderly and a chieftain of the PDP in Plateau State, were kidnapped by gunmen on Wednesday.

“The police told his family about the incident because his son’s phone was seen inside the vehicle. That is the information available to us now.

“The information got to us around midnight. He left Jos about 2pm and was heading for Abuja in preparation for the PDP national convention. He was not alone; he was with an elder statesman and one of the PDP elders in Plateau State, Chief Emmanuel Mangni. Incidentally, Mangni is the coordinator of one of the aspirants for the position of PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus.”

Akans confirmed that the kidnappers had contacted Sango’s family and demanded N100m ransom.

 He said, “The kidnappers are demanding N100m. The family have spoken with Sango and he assured them that he was safe. None of them have been released.

“They are still with their abductors.We are waiting to see whether the kidnappers will reduce the ransom tomorrow. I am on my way to Abuja.”

Asked if he suspected whether the incident had any link with the PDP convention or if the abductors were Fulani herdsmen, Akans said it could be the normal case of kidnapping as there was insecurity in the country.

He said, “The Jere Road has been a flashpoint and Kaduna State is a den of kidnappers. It was the security operatives that told the family that their breadwinner had been kidnapped because the car that was abandoned drew the attention of the security operatives.

“On reaching the car, they found a telephone belonging to his son in the car. When his personal assistant couldn’t get him when he tried to reach him, he called his son’s line and it was picked by one of the policemen.

“They told us that the car was with them and there was no occupant.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said efforts were on to rescue the captives.

“The incident happened in Jere, Kaduna State, and is not under my jurisdiction. But let me confirm that Damishi Sango has been kidnapped because we have received the signal from Kaduna. The man has been kidnapped and efforts are on to secure his freedom,” he said.