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Bandits slash ransom for 85 Zamfara abductees



The bandits who kidnapped 85 people in Wanzamai village in the Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State have finally agreed to collect N20,000 ransom on each of the victims.

They also asked the authorities to withdraw soldiers from the village as part of the conditions for the release of the abductees.

They gave 12 midnight of Sunday as the deadline, threatening to kill any victim who failed to pay the money on or before the stipulated time.

They threatened that unless the military personnel deployed in Wanzamai village were withdrawn they would continue to kidnap the villagers.

An indigene of the area, Abubakar Na’Allah told newsmen in a telephone conversation that the bandits had sent a message that they would collect only N20,000 from each of the 85 victims as ransom, considering their financial status.

Na,allah said, “The bandits earlier demanded the sum of N50m to release the 85 people they have kidnapped who are mostly women and children who went to the forest to get firewood last Friday.

“But after a series of negotiations, they have agreed to collect N20,000 from each victim as they came to understand that they are all from poor families.

“They also asked us to inform the appropriate authorities that they would continue to attack the village if the soldiers continue to remain in the area.”

Na’Allah said the families of the kidnapped victims were trying to pay the money, lamenting that, “Many of them have to sell their belongings in order to raise the amount.”

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He said his sister’s daughter was among the abductees, adding that the family had launched an appeal fund in order to raise the amount and save the girl.

According to Na’Allah, the kidnap of the 85 people was a reprisal by the bandits whose people were killed in a raid by the military last Thursday.

“There was an attack on the bandits’ camp by the military last Thursday where some bandits were killed.

“The people of the village were told not to go to the forest last Friday because of the fear that the bandits might attack them but unfortunately some women and children did not heed to the warning.

“They went to the forest to get firewood not knowing that the bandits were hiding there and they were all abducted.”

Na’Allah said two of the kidnapped victims were able to escape, while one was killed by the bandits.

The state Commissioner for Security, Mamman Tsafe, who is also an indigene of Tsafe LG where the incident happened, told newsmen that the state government would not succumb to the pressure by the bandits to evaluate the military personnel deployed in Wanzamai village.

The commissioner said, “We can’t be intimidated by the bandits to change our security plans.

“We will not withdraw the military personnel attached to Wanzamai village, no matter the pressure by the bandits.”

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