Bandits Take 49 Niger Villagers to Zamfara Forest, Demand N30m Ransom

Bandits-Kaduna-Abuja train

Bandits in Niger State have taken 49 villagers to the Zamfara forest and are demanding a ransom of N30 million for their release. The victims were mostly from Adunu, Kwagana, and Gudani villages in Paikoro local government area of Niger State. The kidnappers had initially demanded N100 million before lowering it to N30 million. Reports also indicate that four people have been killed since the abduction.

The police officer among the abductees was killed on Wednesday after the bandits’ deadline for the ransom payment passed. The abductees’ families are working with intermediaries to negotiate the ransom with the kidnappers. It has been reported that the bandits released five people from the initial group of 56 captives after they volunteered to act as intermediaries.

The head of vigilante of Kafinkoro, Yau Tsalha, stated that the kidnappers are now in the Zamfara forest and that they have released five of the captives while the other 49 remain in captivity. The bandits have been moving from Birni Gwari forest in Kaduna state to the Zamfara forest.

Residents of Gudani village have relocated to Kafin koro as a result of the kidnapping. The police public relations officer in charge of Niger State Command, Wasiu Abiodun, could not be reached for comments at the time of filing this report.

The recent incident adds to the increasing cases of kidnapping in Niger state, with bandits targeting villages and schools. The state government has tried to negotiate with the bandits in the past but has also made it clear that it would not pay any ransom. The situation has led to the displacement of many people in the state.