Bandits Demand N200 Million For Abducted Niger Farmers
By Mukhtar Tijjani
Bandit have reportedly demanded N200 million ransom to release the 56 farmers abducted in Adunu, Kwagana and adjoining communities in Paikoro Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State.
Our source gathered that the abductees, among them women and children, have spent three weeks in captivity.
Residents said bandits called on Tuesday to inform them that one of the abductees had been killed, threatening to kill more people if ransom was not paid in time.
A resident, Joshua Bawa, said “The people of Adunu and environs have over the years been left to their fate in terms of infrastructural development and provision of basic amenities. Our roads are dilapidated and school buildings have all collapsed, yet we cannot go about our farming activities peacefully for fear of being kidnapped or killed by bandits. We want the release of 56 members of our community kidnapped on the March 14, 2023 in Adunu by bandit.”
Another resident, John Elijah, said the people were having it difficult to raise the money.
He said, “Where are we going to get this huge amount of money as ransom demanded by bandits? Who will come to our rescue to secure the release of our people? Where is Mr President who promised to end the hardship we face in 2015? Where is Niger State governor whose primary duty is to ensure adequate security of lives of Nigerlites?”
This newspaper gathered that the bandits made away with almost 100 people but some later escaped.
Residents said attacks had become incessant since the attack on Catholic Church, Kafin-Koro, in which Rev Fr Isaac Achi was gruesomely burnt to death.
They said in one of the recent attacks carried out by bandits who invaded Adunu and Kwagana villages, few kilometers away from Kaffin-Koro, many people were kidnapped, homes destroyed and shops looted in an uninterrupted operation that lasted for hours.
They were reported to have also attacked Nanati, Beni, and Abolo communities among others while a kidnapped nursing mother had her infant thrown off her back, and a healthcare worker, Mr Joshua Galadima Bitrus, was shot dead during one of the attacks at Kwagana.
Residents lamented that there was no security presence in Adunu and its environs despite the renewed attacks on the people of the axis.
Findings revealed that following the burning of the police station in Kafin-Koro, policemen had been moved out of the area, thereby exposing the communities to attacks.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Niger, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, said efforts were ongoing in collaboration with the military tactical teams towards ensuring the rescue of the victims from captivity.
He, however, declined comments on the relocation of the police from the area after Kafin-Koro Police Station was burnt by irate youths who protested the killing of the Rev Father Isaac Achi in January.
Efforts to get the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Emmanuel Umar, to speak on the matter proved unsuccessful. All the calls to his phone went unanswered. He has also yet to respond to a text message sent to his phone at the time of filing this report.
Also, the Chairman, Paikoro LGA, Aminu Umar Yandayi, did not pick up the calls from our correspondent.
He did not also respond to a text message sent to his phone.