Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 15:35 UK

North Nigeria politician abducted

Nigeria map

A senior Nigerian official has been kidnapped in the northern state of Kaduna, police say.

Waje Yayok, who is third-in-command of the state government, was abducted on Monday night.

The kidnappers have demanded a ransom, though it is not yet clear who is responsible for the abduction.

Officials and foreigners are kidnapped often in Nigeria, but most abductions are carried out by militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta in the south.

Nigerian media claimed an initial ransom demand of 40m naira (£165,000; $266,000) was dropped to 15m naira - and have portrayed the kidnap as a money-motivated crime.

Nigeria's This Day newspaper reported that the kidnappers had threatened to kill Mr Yayok if their demand was not met.

But Kaduna's police commissioner Alhaji Mohamed said he was hopeful Mr Yayok would be freed shortly.

"All the security agencies in the state... are working together," Mr Mohamed was quoted by the Daily Trust as saying.

"We have placed both overt and covert operations to ensure that he is safe and free. In the next 24 hours [God willing], we are going to see him."

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