Abductors of Niger district head, wives demand N5m

From John Adams, Minna

After about three weeks in captivity, the gunmen who abducted Alhaji Jafaru Umar Sarki the District of Beni in Munya LGA of Niger State and his wives have demanded N5million for their release.

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The district head, his two wives and 15 other members of the community were abducted by gunmen, numbering about 60, who invaded the community on the February 2 about three weeks ago.

About five people were said to have been killed in that attack which left the community deserted with majority of the people now taking refuge in Kafin-Koro in Paikoro LGA.

The gunmen, according to a source from the community, are also asking for N500,000 for the release of each of the 15 other victims.

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“The last time they (gunmen) spoke with us was on Wednesday night; they used the district head’s phone to call us. They initially demanded N5million for only the district head.

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“But after pleading with them that the man has paid so much ransom in the last two years for the release of children and other community members, they now said we should pay N2.5million. But they said every other member of the community must pay N500,000.

“There are about 15 members of the community, including women and their children that are with the bandits. The whole community is now like a ghost community since this attack occurred early this month,” she added.

Beni, one of the biggest farming communities in Munya LGA, is among the most terrorised communities in the state by gunmen with no help coming from anywhere.

Between 2020 and 2021, the community had come under bloody attacks 11 times from gunmen, who killed over 26 people and kidnapped well over 70 people with ransom worth N20million paid by relations of victims.

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