The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State said on Thursday that the Church paid N300 million as ransom for 500 kidnapped Christians in the state in the past two years.
The CAN chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, stressed that armed bandits and Fulani herdsmen have turned kidnapping and other criminal acts into a business ventures in the state.
Hayab lamented that the activities of the criminals had forced inhabitants of 10 villages to flee from their homes to other parts in the state.
His words: We have been computing the number of Christian population kidnapped in Kaduna State in the last two years, over 500 of them that we know — either in the villages or in town — have been kidnapped.
“The people have moved out of some settlements completely and we have closed down our churches because of the activities of the kidnappers.
“The people affected are predominantly Christians, who are residing along Abuja-Kaduna highway. They have parked out of the settlement completely and we have closed down our churches because of the activities of the kidnappers.
“We are still computing, but at the last count, we realised that the church has coughed out over N300 million as ransom to kidnappers. In one village, the church has given kidnappers over N20 million. In the case of the chief of Kajuru that was killed, it was N8 million the kidnappers took.
“There was a reverend father in Kachia, they took about N1.5 million. They still killed him. In Dankande, Birnin-Gwari, they collected over N7 million before they released those people to us.
The association urged the Federal Government to immediately wade into the increasing level of kidnapping and rescue the Christian population in the state.