By Duku JOEL, Maiduguri
Boko Haram members are demanding a ransom of N20 million from a 75 year old internally displaced blind man, Papa Jato Ndarfa before his daughter and niece will be released to him.
The traumatized blind old man who is currently living at the CAN Centre IDPs Camp Maiduguri told journalists that he has appealed to the insurgents to have mercy on him and release his daughter and niece as he could not raise such amount of money being demanded.
The distraught old man narrated that his daughter, Lami Jato, 25 a graduate of Sir Kashim Ibrahim College of Education Maiduguri including his niece, Renita Bitrus were both abducted by some suspected Boko Haram terrorists two weeks ago at a farm in Tungushe, Magumeri Local Government area of Borno State alongside a tractor driver.
Tungushe is located along Maiduguri- Monguno road, just 15km, north east from Maiduguri, the state capital.
Papa Jato informed that his children abductors made contact through his niece’s phone and requested for N20 million before his daughter, niece and the tractor driver will be released to him.
The old man who fought with tear down his eyes lamented where and how he could raise such a huge amount of money to pay the terrorists but instead called on the insurgents to show mercy by releasing his children unconditionally.
He disclosed that, his daughter Lami has remained the pillar of the family since 2014 when Boko Haram sacked their village and his three wives were missing up to this moment.
He added that Lami and his niece decided to engage in the farming venture so as to raise money for the sustenance of the family at the camp and his personal care as well.
His words: “It was two of them, my daughter, Lami Jato and my niece, Renita Bitrus who is married with two children that were abducted by the Boko Haram. It is 15 days now from the day they were abducted when they went for farming in Tungushe, along Maiduguri-Monguno road.
“Initially they were 7 in number at the farm that were abducted. Five men, my daughter and my niece, but they later released four of the men and held one of the men, the tractor driver and my two children.
“I am not fighting or quarrelling with the Boko Haram, they are my children. I am appealing to them to please have mercy on me and release my daughter, niece and the tractor driver.
“I am a poor blind old IDP living in a Nylon House in a camp. There is no means of getting money to feed talk more of getting N20 million to offer. Please my children pity me and release the women who are also your sisters.
“I am also appealing to our hardworking Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum to come to my aid and intervene. I should not be allowed to die of frustration from what I am facing now. The situation is terrible for me here,” Papa Ndarfa appealed.
Another appeal made by the old man was for the IDPs at the CAN Centre camp to be considered by State Emergency Management Agency ( SEMA ) and the National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA) for the distribution of food, stressing that, “it has been a long time we received food from SEMA and NEMA at this camp.”
Papa Jato, an indigene of Gava from Gwoza Local Government while speaking on his journey to IDP camp in Maiduguri said they fled to Maiduguri when Boko Haram attacked their village in 2014 and killed over 100 villagers and burnt down several houses.
He added that since 2014 they have been living in the CAN Centre IDPs camp.