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Bandits Demand N250Million Ransom To Free Kidnapped Victims In President Buhari's Home State, Katsina

September 26, 2022

Yusuf Laura, one of the victims' close relations, said he was contacted by the terrorists to inform the villagers of their demand for a ransom of N250 million.


Bandits terrorising Katsina and its adjoining states in Nigeria's Northwest region have demanded a ransom of N250 million to release residents kidnapped on September 14, 2022, SaharaReporters has learnt.


Yusuf Laura, one of the victims' close relations, said he was contacted by the terrorists to inform the villagers of their demand for a ransom of N250 million.


"They called me around 7:00 pm on Thursday and told me that they were holding 43 of our people and that we must cough out N250 million for them to release our loved ones to us.


"For me, 11 persons are biologically related to me, including my wife and two daughters," Laura narrated tearfully.


He said the leader of the gang holding the residents asked him if his immediate family members were among those abducted. 


"I answered in the affirmative. I told him my wife, Bilkisu, my two-year-old daughter, Ummulsalma, my eldest daughter, Shafa'atu who is a student of the Federal College of Education, Katsina and my son, Ibrahim were being held by them.


"Last Monday (September 19), they called me again around 3:17 pm and asked what we were waiting for (payment of ransom). It is something we must do, but it is not easy, especially because when they (bandits) attacked, they carted away everything of value in the community. As it is, in this community, nobody can tell you that we can get half of that amount," a frustrated Laura added.


Zaharadden Tukur, whose father was among the four people killed in the ferocious attack, said he has become the breadwinner of a family of 13. 


"When they invaded our village, they broke into our house shooting sporadically; my father quickly ran out of his room to beg them. 


"He pleaded with them to leave us alone but they refused, instead they asked him to surrender his phone, which he did. They demanded money and he gave them what was available at home but they said he must give them more. They killed him because there was no more money for him to give," Tukur said. 


Another victim's relation whose shop was burgled said the whole community has now been thrown into confusion arising from the uncertainty surrounding the fate of their loved ones, seeing they couldn't raise the ransom.


"The murderous guys have threatened hell and the government has not said anything to us, let alone help us to rescue our beloved family members. All the same, we're not losing faith, we've now resorted to prayers for God's intervention," he said.


Another resident, Nura Sada said, "Nearly every household was affected; in some houses, more than five people were abducted. We're meeting to see how to negotiate with the terrorists to reduce the ransom.


"Even if that works out, how do we raise the amount seeing they've rustled all our cattle," he added.


The spokesperson for the Katsina state police command, SP Gambo Isa, who confirmed the abduction, said, "I've not been briefed on the matter (ransom demand) so, I don't know. 


"But the command is making efforts to rescue those abducted in Bakiyawa and other communities in the state," he added.