Home News Bandits demand N49m to free kidnap victims in Niger State

Bandits demand N49m to free kidnap victims in Niger State

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MINNA – Barely 24 hours after the kidnap of the son of the district head of Beni and 32 others in an early morning invasion of Beni community in Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, the kidnappers have demanded N49 million ransom for the release of their victims.

While the kidnappers are demanding N17 million ransom from the district head for the release of his 18-year-old son, Abdulrahaman Jafaru, who was kidnapped from a tea joint, the relations of 32 other victims have been asked to pay N1million each for the release of their relation.

The bandits were said to have given the relations seven days from Thursday or forget about them.

It was gathered that the bandits, apart from rustling cattle and sheep and sacking the homes and the villagers’ shops, collected about 60 handsets from them, including ten motorcycles.

It could be recalled that 20 people were initially kidnapped on Wednesday morning but the figure has now risen to 32 including a former vice-chairman Paikoro local government whose name was simply given as Barnabas, and who was kidnapped on his way to pay a condolence visit on the family of a friend.

The district head of Beni, Alhaji Jafaru Umar Sarki, who confirmed the latest development in a telephone with our correspondent, disclosed that he and other relations of the victims had been contacted by the bandits to pay the ransom.

According to him, “they told me to bring N17million but I told them that I do not have that type of money because I just paid N1.35m for the release of my daughter who was kidnapped two days to her wedding in July last year.

“They told me that it was not their group that collected that money, and that the first ransom was for another group,” the district head said.

“They later said that I should offer something but I told them that I don’t have anything to offer because I have not finished paying the debt after I borrowed money to secure the release of my two daughters.”

Sarki stated further that the bandits told him that they were giving him seven days within which to do something or forget about his son.

He complained that despite repeated complaints to the security agents, nobody had showed up, adding that to make matters worse, the three policemen in the police outpost had fled.

“It is unfortunate that since this thing started about a week now, nobody has come to commiserate with us. I have equally made several complaints to the police but no response has been made,” he added.

Meanwhile, our correspondent gathered that air surveillance had commenced in the area with a view to tracking the bandits.

Last Sunday an army officer and three soldiers were killed in an ambush by the bandits.

Also on Wednesday four villagers were killed while the chief imam of the Beni Central Mosque, Alhaji Umar Mohammed and others were abducted.

However, there has been no official confirmation of the incident from the police or any other security agents in the state.

But the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje on Wednesday condemned the escalation of banditry attacks in parts of the state. (The sun)

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