Abductors of Inengite Nitabai, the 70-year old uncle of President Goodluck Jonathan, have demanded a N500m ransom.
A security source said that the abductors threatened to kill him if the family fails to produce the money.
The source also said the family had constituted a committee to evaluate the demand, establish negotiations with the abductors and facilitate his release.
He said the kidnappers had also warned against the involvement of security operatives in the matter.
“The kidnappers contacted the family four days after and demanded a whopping sum of N500m. It is believed that the family of the victim has begun negotiations with the hoodlums,” he said.
Tension and panic set in when the kidnappers failed to establish any contact with the family of their victim three days after he was abducted.
That development was said to have rattled the Presidency, which reportedly ordered a massive deployment of security in Otuoke, the hometown of the Jonathans, and the Niger Delta creeks.
The gunmen abducted Nitabai on Sunday after collecting about N400,000 from his wife.
It would be recalled that on October 14 last year, Augusta Douglas Ayam, the sister of Mr. Oronto Douglas, the Special Advisor to President Jonathan on Research and Strategy, was also kidnapped in the same area.
She was released after nine days, and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta MEND, claiming to have made accidental contact with the kidnappers, confirmed that the Jonathan government paid $200,000 US as ransom for her release.
The movement said the kidnappers wanted to use the incident to make a political statement, as they were disgusted at the ostentation they had witnessed during the burial of Orontoâ€™s father in December last year. That event featured the widespread use of government equipment, including free use of military helicopters to shuttle guests and merchandise.
It was on one of those trips that Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, and former National Security Adviser Andrew Owoye Azazi died in a crash.