Two persons, who went to deliver ransom for the release of two children of a Kaduna-based bishop, have been abducted by the same gunmen, who had earlier kidnapped the children.

The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph Hayab, disclosed on Monday.

He said the two persons were abducted by the bandits after collecting the ransom from them and failed to release the children of the bishop.

Hayab had earlier in a statement said the Senior Pastor of the Nagarta Baptist Church, Makeri, near Udawa in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state, was still being held by his abductors three weeks after he was kidnapped.

He appealed to security operatives to rescue the cleric and the bishop’s children.

Pastor Elisha Numan and his son, Emmanuel, were reportedly abducted by heavily armed men from their residence three weeks ago.

But the son was later released so as to be used as a negotiating contact.

The abductors later called the family through Emmanuel to demand N20m ransom after they had threatened the pastor’s son to raise the money or his father would be killed within three days.

The kidnappers later reduced the ransom to N7m, according to the CAN chairman.

The CAN leader also stated that the pastor was ill when his abductors came calling.

He noted that one of the sons of the bishop was nine years old and appealed to his abductors to release him, because “he is not strong and mature to go through this torture.”

The CAN boss said, “Rev. Elisha Numan of the Baptist Church, Angwan Makeri, and the two children of one of our bishops in Kaduna are still with their the kidnappers. They were abducted about three weeks ago and are still being held in captivity till date.

“The church and their families are helpless and traumatised. We are once again calling on security agencies to do the needful and help secure the release of our people.

“Rev. Elisha was sick when he was kidnapped and we are afraid for his health. The son of our bishop is just nine years old. He is not strong and mature to go through this ordeal. We are appealing that these innocent people should be released.”

Meanwhile, the gunmen, who abducted the wife of the Anglican Bishop of the Ikeduru Diocese in Imo State, Anuri Maduwuike, have set her free.

She was released after an undisclosed amount was purportedly paid as ransom.

The bishop’s wife, who was waylaid and abducted on Friday at Ekemele, while she was going home from Owerri, was reportedly set free on Sunday by her abductors.

A source in the church, who did not want his name in print, told one of our correspondents on Monday that the kidnappers had earlier demanded N8m as ransom.

The source, who refused to disclose how much was paid for the woman to regain her freedom, said she was not released without payment.

He said, “To the glory of God, our bishop’s wife has been released.

She was released on Sunday. Her kidnappers had initially demanded N8m ransom.

“God answered our prayer and she was released unhurt. She has been reunited with her family. It was not a happy moment for the church of God. The diocese was in a sad mood until she was released.”

Our correspondent gathered that the bishop, Emmanuel Maduwuike, had a week before the abduction of his wife launched one of his books.

A source told our correspondent that the kidnappers might have thought that the bishop realised huge amount of money from the book launch.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, could not be reached for comments, but a police source, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the cleric wife’s release. -Emergency Digest