He condemned in strong terms Falae’s kidnap and directed the other security agencies to take all necessary action to ensure his safe and speedy rescue.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari described as “callous and reprehensible” the kidnapping of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and elder statesman.
The President assured Falae’s family, friends and other concerned Nigerians that the Federal Government would do all within its powers to ensure his swift release.
Buhari, who has requested constant updates from the police and security agencies on efforts to find and rescue Chief Falae, also denounced the recurring incidents of criminal abductions across the country.
Buhari also assured all Nigerians that ongoing efforts to significantly enhance security of lives and property will continue and that under his leadership, Nigerians, irrespective of status, will no longer be left at the mercy of criminal elements.
Falae was kidnapped in his farm in Ilado, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State on Monday by hoodlums suspected to be Fulani herdsmen
Meanwhile, as negotiations continue between Falae’s family and his abductors, indications have emerged that the family may not be able to pay the N90 million ransom placed on him.
The abductors had on Tuesday reduced the ransom from N100 million to N90 million, but the family could only raise N2 million.
A member of the family who declined to be named said the family cannot afford to pay the N90 million ransom, adding that the family and friends of the abducted politician were still meeting on the way forward.
He pleaded with the abductors to release the 77-year-old politician unconditionally, stressing that his safety is vital to the family.
According to him, the family will continue to negotiate with the kidnappers just as he urged the federal and state governments to assist in securing the release of Falae.
Meanwhile, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Adamawa State branch have condemned the kidnap and urged the abductors to respect Falae’s age and contributions to nation building and set him free.
Ohanaeze, which spoke through its Secretary-General, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu in Enugu “totally condemns this act of lawlessness and criminality visited on one of Nigeria’s revered leaders, Chief Olu Falae.”
Ohanaeze called on the Federal Government to urgently ensure that the abducted former Minister of Finance is released without further delay.
“We are also appealing to all Nigerians who are patriotic to rise up to ensure that Falae is released and allowed to return home safe,” the group said.
Ohanaeze noted that the safety of Falae was of utmost importance to Ndigbo.
The leadership of SDP, described the statement by police authorities that the elder statesman was abducted by Fulani herdsmen as unacceptable. It urged the security agents to intensify efforts to secure his freedom.
The party chairman, Bebetu, who spoke at a press conference enjoined the abductors to release him without further delay and unconditionally.
Also lending his voice to the issue, the lawmaker representing Numan/Demsa/ Lamurde Federal constituency, Kwamoti Laori, enjoined the Federal Government to work relentlessly towards the release of Falae, declaring that the rate of kidnappings in the country was an indication that it has became a big business.
“We want to implore the President to deploy the same energy used in fighting corruption and insurgency for kidnappers; there should be state of emergency on kidnapping,” Laori said.
Justina Obadiah Nkom said Falae’s abduction is a pointer that nobody is safe in the country.
She said SDP members are traumatised throughout the country.
However, the farmers in the state have threatened to wage war against Fulani herdsmen operating in the state.
The farmers, under the aegis of Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the herdsmen for Falae’s unconditional release.
The farmers declared that they are determined to fight all herdsmen in the state should they fail to release Falae unconditionally before the expiration of the ultimatum.
Chairman of the association, Mr Akin Olotu while speaking with newsmen after an emergency meeting in Akure expressed worry on the abduction of the elder statesman.
“The abduction of Chief Falae is unacceptable to all the farmers in Ondo State. If Falae is not released within the next seven days, the farmers in Ondo State will take action that will have a national impact. We should not forget the Agbekoya war in the old Oyo State.
“This is a national issue. If they can kidnap a man like Chief Falae, it means nobody is safe again in Ondo State. That is why we are calling on the government not to be silent on this issue,” he added.
According to him “the activities of Fulani herdsmen in Ondo state have become unbearable and nomadic system of cattle rearing in Nigeria is obsolete, it is not in the interest of anybody again, it is not in the interest of the herdsmen, nor the farmers nor the cattle themselves, so our government should do something urgent about this.”
“The herdsmen are now turning to armed robbers, they rape, and kidnap, they are now seriously threatening the lives of the people of our communities in this state and if you report to the police, nothing will be done. Now, they have kidnapped one of our elders. We will not take this any longer,” he declared. -The Sun