The wife of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Margaret Emefiele, was one of about six people abducted by gunmen on Thursday, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
A family source told this newspaper late Friday that efforts were underway to secure Mrs. Emefiele’s release, as well as others, within the shortest period possible.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that she was kidnapped, but we’re making diligent efforts to ensure her release and also the other people,” the source told PREMIUM TIMES.
The confirmation corroborates earlier reports by Sahara Reporters, a New York-based online news portal.
Sahara Reporters said on Friday evening that Mrs. Emefiele was kidnapped along Benin-Agbor Road on Thursday after gunmen chased her police detail into the bush.
The medium also said a ransom of N1.5 billion has been demanded by her abductors, who have since reached out to the family.
But the PREMIUM TIMES source declined to confirm these, saying the details are not necessary and could actually complicate rescue efforts.
“We’re all Nigerians and I think I’ve done very well by confirming this report to you,” the source said. “Please join me in praying for her timely release as we do our best to appeal to those keeping her and ensure that she’s released in one piece.”
Police spokesman Don Awunah could not be reached for comments on the status of rescue operations as his number indicated it was switched off for several hours Friday.
The victims husband, Godwin Emefiele, has been in charge of the CBN since 2014.
Mrs. Emefiele is the latest victim in a string of abductions that have seen many public figures seized within the last one year.
In September 2015, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae, was kidnapped in his farm in Ondo State.
A former senator, Iyabo Anisulowo, was also kidnapped in her home state of Ogun in April this year.
The two have since regained freedom after spending days in captivity, but the circumstances under which they were released remained unclear.
While the police claimed to have rescued them, the victims said they parted with huge sum as ransom.