The gunmen who abducted German archaeologist, Prof. Peter Breunij, and his associate, Johannes Buringer, in Jenjela village in Kagarko Local Government of Kaduna State, have demanded N60m (180,000 euros, official rate) as ransom.
The kidnappers, according to a source at Jenjela village, said the abductors called the line of the camp supervisor around 11.00 am and demanded N30m ransom for each of the two men.
The source added that the male voice, who spoke on behalf of the abductors, warned associates of the professor against involving the police and other security agencies in the bid to rescue the professor and his associate and advised them to source for the money as soon as they could.
Prof. Breunij, 65 and his aide, who is in his early 20s, were kidnapped by gunmen while working on an excavation of relics of Nok culture at Jenjela community.
The demand came just as police launched a rescue operation for the two Germans.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said on Thursday the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had deployed surveillance helicopters and special police units including the Intelligence Response Team, the Technical Intelligence Unit as well as the Anti-Kidnapping unit to rescue the hostages.
Other units involved in the rescue operation include the Counter -Terrorism Unit, the Police Mobile Force, and the Special Investigation Team on kidnapping and terrorism cases under the command of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Department of Operations, Joshak Habila.
Moshood stated that the team was working in synergy with the Kaduna State Police Command and residents of towns and surrounding villages where the Germans were kidnapped.
“Though the German archaeologists have police officers attached to them for their protection at the NOK Archaeology Research Project Centre, they did not go with the policemen to the excavation site where they were kidnapped,” he said.
The spokesman said the deployed special forces and police investigators were in contact with the colleagues of the victims and had provided additional security for their safety.
In order to achieve prompt result, Moshood stated that the DIG in charge of Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department had also been mandated to coordinate the investigation aspect of the operations.
“The Nigeria Police Force, while assuring all Nigerians and foreign nationals in the country of their safety, wishes to implore them to always request and obtain police escort to protect them any time they are embarking on research, mining and related endeavours outside the towns and cities across the country,” he said.
Sesan Adeola with agency reports