Operatives of the Adamawa State Police Command have requested payment of N60, 000 from leaders of the Fa'a Gaya community in the Hong Local Government Area of the state to track the mobile phone numbers of bandits threatening the community.
According to a source, after a story done by SaharaReporters revealing the threats made by bandits against the community, the elders of the community were invited to the police headquarters and queried.
Afterwards, he said, the police asked that the community elders pay the sum of N60,000 to enable them to track the phone numbers used by the bandits to threaten the community, to apprehend them.
He added that the police had also threatened the leaders and warned them against talking to journalists.
The source said, “The elders have been invited to the police headquarters at Yola and the officers are asking them to pay N60, 000 to track the bandits' phone lines, is this proper?
“The bandits sent threats to the community yet the police couldn't track them instead they're harassing community leaders over nothing.
“A young man was arrested by the police, this was because he was the one the bandits called when they issued threats that they were coming to attack. The young man sells cows, so they (bandits) got his number and asked him to give their number to an elder in the community which he did.
“Now they have arrested this young man but what efforts are they making to ensure they track and punish the bandits? The community cannot take such threats lightly because bandits are very deadly. They say and do what they promise. It is not just fair that the police treat citizens this way.”
The bandits, from their hideouts, had issued threats to the Fa'a Gaya community, demanding N30 million to keep them from invading and launching terror on the community.
SaharaReporters learnt from a save-our-soul call made to the government and civil society organisations that the bandits were on the verge of attacking the community.
An authoritative source noted that the villagers, living in fear and trepidation of the terror of bandits had gradually started to desert the community as efforts to get security agencies to intervene have proved abortive.
According to the source, the bandits called initially with a phone number that was not registered and later called with another, traced to a name and location which the leaders provided the police but the police refused to launch an investigation into the matter.
He said that the community is not far from Garaha, the village where the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, hails from.
“The number of soldiers stationed at the SGF's home can provide adequate security for the whole of Fa'a Gaya if the military is really interested in protecting people.
“Kidnappers have threatened to wipe out one village called Fa'a Gaya in Hong LGA of Adamawa State. The kidnappers called the villagers with this mobile phone number 09046824117 and asked them to pay N30,000,000 within 3 days or they will come to the village, kill all of them and burn down the whole village.
”When we checked the mobile phone number, the one that was used to call the elders of Fa'a Gaya, the above mobile number is not registered.
“Another number called them this evening, it is registered with the name Kalu Telor at Wuse this is the phone number 09021780601 and negotiating with the elders of Fa'a Gaya a Killba community in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State and the elders even offered the kidnappers N1 million but the kidnappers came down from N30 million to N5 million and said they will still continue with the negotiation tomorrow.
”The community reported to Nigeria Police but no action has been taken yet, therefore we are calling for Killba prominent political leaders to take action before it will be too late and innocent lives lost in that community.”