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Bandits kidnap 70 villagers from Niger community, demand N150m ransom

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Residents of Kaduna communities pay bandits, militia N3m to harvest farm produce - Group

A community leader in Zagzaga village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, has confirmed the abduction of 70 people from the village by bandits.

The community leader who spoke to Ripples Nigeria on the condition of anonymity on Sunday morning, said the bandits have also demanded for N150m as ransom for the release of their victims.

According to him, the bandits had invaded the village on Friday night and kidnapped 60 people, but came back on Saturday morning at about 8:30 and abducted 10 more people.

“Before the Friday invasion, the bandits had tried to invade the village on Thursday night, but had to beat a retreat when security operatives on patrol chased them away,” the community leader said.

“But on Friday night, they came again in their large number and kidnapped 60 people. On Saturday morning, at about 8:30, they came again and abducted 10 more people while the villagers watched helplessly as they could not confront them.

“They came when we had gathered to discuss the way forward for the release of those that were kidnapped on Friday, and went away with another 10 people.

“They parked their motorcycles about 500 meters from the community, came on foot and began to select those that they wanted to take along. They were asking for the names of some particular people, suggesting that they were working with some informants.

Read also: Police confirms death of nine persons in fresh bandits’ attacks on Sokoto

“Later that day, the bandits called the community leaders to demand for N150m for the release of the 70 people they abducted. They told us that the money was for the 70 people, including three nursing mothers that were freed because of their babies and a man who escaped on their way.

“They even told us to go and sell our yams and other farm produce to raise the money. They told us too that they decided not to disturb the community since April this year after dislodging the military from the area so as to enable us to farm very well to be able to pay the ransom.

“Their commander asked me that whether the community is not happy that they even allowed us to farm this year. He was even boasting that no amount of security could prevent them from invading any community they wanted to invade, so we should just go and look for the money.”

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