Nigeria: Bandist Refuse to Release Niger Farmers After Collecting 26m

Twenty one out of the 47 farmers kidnapped in February this year in various communities in Lavun LGA of Niger State are yet to be released by their kidnappers five months after they were abducted.

City & Crime reports that following the kdinapping, the social media was littered with posts that Nupe witches and wizards were able to rescue the victims in two days.

But the District Head of Ndarukpa, Alhaji Salihu Ndaruka, where 30 persons, including 12 women and girls were abducted, said the victims were not rescued as circulated on social media.

He said after they even paid N26m raised through the sales of their belongings, including farm produce reserved for the planting season, the bandits released only 26 people, demanding another N21m before releasing the rest.

He explained that, “They said we should pay N1m for each person. When we were able to raise N26m which was taken to them, they released 26 people, demanding for the balance before others would be released. Now they said they don’t want payment in piece meal; we should pay the balance at once. We have sold our belongings, including our farm produce.”

He added that the relations of the victims had been in trauma and frustration for the past five months because they could not raise the money to secure the release of their people.

He further said, “The newly wedded bride abducted has been released, but there still 10 girls in captivity. There are also married women and other men. We need support for the sake of Allah.”

Also speaking, a mother whose two daughters are among those yet to be released, told City & Crime that, “Life has not been easy for us. I have sold my belongings to raise the N300,000 I contributed, yet my daughters are yet to be released. The problem is that some families who were able to raise money went with the list of their relations, but the bandits told them that we would not decide for them. So, some people who have been released are not those whose relations paid.”

The affected villages are Ndaruka, Santali, Ebbo, Makolo, Ekoko, Sonfada-Gabi, Basagi, Satifu and Gana-Umaru.

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