Gunmen demand N55 million ransom for kidnapped residents in Niger community

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Gunmen demand N55 million ransom for kidnapped residents in Niger community

Two weeks after abducting over 55 people from Zagzaga community in Munya Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State, gunmen have rejected the sum of N5 million offered to them by the community for the release of their loved ones.

The armed bandits struck in a midnight raid on Monday, 22 November 2021, and abducted about 55 people from the community, including nursing mothers and their children. Two people were also killed on the night.

The bandits had earlier demanded N150 million for the release of their victims.

However, a source close to Zagzaga told Daily Sun on phone, yesterday, that the community contributed N5 million and offered it to the bandits, but was rejected, insisting that the community must pay N1 million for each victim, including children.

“The community contributed N5 million which we offered to them, but they told us that the amount is too small. They said the only help they can offer to the community is for us to pay N1 million for each person, and we have over 55 people with them.

“That is where we are at the moment, and they said they will not come down below that amount. We spoke to them last Saturday morning.”

Our source added: “The community is helpless because since this incident happened, nobody has come to the community to even identify with us. We have been abandoned to our faith and that is why we have to negotiate with the bandits.

“Women and children are in the bush under this harsh condition without food and enough water. The entire community has been traumatised since this incident happened.”

He disclosed that no fewer than eight people, four women and four men have escaped from captivity in the last one week, and have relocated from the community.

The Zagzaga community has remained without security since April this year, when the military closed down its camp in the community after armed bandits numbering about 70 invaded the camp and killed the RSM and injured others.

The military camp was established in 2018, after incessant attacks on the community by bandits.

Ever since the military shot down its camp, there has never been any security presence in the area as the people continue to rely on God and the little help from the ill-equipped local vigilantes to provide security.

Although the community has a police outpost with two personnel, there is no accommodation for them to be used as offices. They are also said to be ill-equipped.

Gunmen demand N55 million ransom for kidnapped residents in Niger community

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