Close associates of Sani Toro, the abducted former Secretary-General of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Monday expressed fears that the condition of his health may worsen in captivity.
The associates who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi said the same situation also applies to the other two men abducted with him.
NAN reports that the trio of Toro, Garba Illa, a former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, and Isa Jah, a friend of theirs, was abducted by gunmen along the Akwanga-Jos road in Nasarawa state last Saturday.
Haruna Bako, a former Bauchi State Director of Sports and a close associate, described the abduction as unfortunate and devastating.
“I have just come from his (Toro) house. It is a pity that they have abducted somebody of his age. It is very unfortunate for someone who is clocking 68. But my major fear is his health,” he said.
Ado Hazzard, a family friend and neighbour of Toro, said the three men’s abduction was a sad incident for the entire state. “They should be released to ease the tension in the state.
“Apart from Toro, Illa is particularly not in a good condition healthwise.
“It is unfortunate and pathetic for the incident to have happened, after they went for the wedding of one of our friends.
“If I had been aware of the wedding, I would have also been with them because I would have traveled with them to the wedding in Abuja.” he said.
Lawal Garba, the Director of Sports in the Bauchi State Sports Council, said news of the men’s abduction was bitter when he was informed about it.
He said Toro was his mentor and superior in the sports industry, and his abduction was very unfortunate.
“It is barbaric to abduct such people with health and age problems.”
Garba warned that the situation of the abducted persons with health-related cases could get worse if subjected to traumatic conditions.
“The security people are doing their best, but I will like to appeal that they should redouble their efforts and rescue them from the den of their abductors,” he said.
Umar Sa’id, Chairman of Bauchi State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), described the incident as sad and disturbing.
“This act of abduction will send panic to sports administrators, as well as sportsmen and women.
“It will discourage sportsmen and women because they will refuse to travel to some parts of the country because of the fear of being kidnapped or killed,” Sa’id who is a former Deputy National President of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) said.
Toro and the two others were said to have been abducted when they were returning from Abuja.
They had been in Abuja to attend the wedding of a son of Aminu Maigari, a former President of Nigeria Football Federation.