Bandits operating in Zamfara and Katsina States who abducted 85 women and children in Wanzamai community of Tsafe local government area in Zamfara State have finally agreed to collect N20,000 from each of the victims amounting to N1.7 million.
The bandits also demanded that military operatives deployed to Wanzamai village should be relocated to another axis, vowing that they would continue to kidnap if the military personnel were not removed.
A native resident of the area, Ahmed Usman told DAILY POST through a telephone interview that the bandits sent a message that they would collect only N20.000 from each of the 85 victims as ransom considering their economic challenges.
“The terrorists had earlier made a demand of N50 million for the kidnapped victims to regain their freedom. The 85 kidnapped victims are mostly women and children who went to the forest to get fire woods last Friday”
Usman explained that after a series of negotiations, the bandits reduced the ransom to N20,000 for each victim as they came to understand that, they are all from poor families.
“They also asked us to inform the appropriate authorities that they would continue to attack the village if the soldiers continue to remain in the area”.
According to Usman, the families of the kidnapped victims were currently trying to pay the money, lamenting that, “many of them have to sell their belongings to raise the amount”.
He said his sister’s daughter was among those that were kidnapped, pointing out that the family has launched an appeal fund to raise the amount and save the girl.
Usman further explained that the kidnap of the 85 people was a reprisal attack by the bandits whose people were killed in a raid by the military last Thursday.
“There was an attack on the bandits’ camp by the military last Thursday where some bandits were killed”.
“The people of the village were told not to go to the forest last Friday because of the fear that the bandits might attack them but unfortunately some women and children did not heed the warning”.
“They went to the forest to get fire woods not knowing that the bandits were hiding there and they were all abducted”.
He noted that two of the kidnapped victims were able to escape, while one was killed by the bandits.