From John Adams, Minna
The Abductors of over 55 people from Zagzaga community in Munya local government area of Niger state have rejected N5million offered to them by the community for the release of their loved ones.
This is coming exactly two weeks after the armed bandits struck in a midnight raid on Monday, 22nd November, 2021, and abducted well over 55 people from the community, including nursing mothers and their children. Two people were also killed in that night.
The bandits had earlier demanded for N150million for the release of their victims, insisting that they (villagers) had farm enough this year to be able to pay the ransom, according to a source from the community.
However source close to Zagzaga told Daily Sun on phone on Monday that the community contributed N5million and offered it to the bandits but was rejected, insisting that the community must pay N1million for each victim, including children.
“The community contributed N5million which we offered to them, but they told us that the amount is too small. They said the only help they can offer to the community is for us to pay N1million for each person and we have over 55 people with them.
“That is where we are at the moment, and they said they will not come down below that amount. We spoke to them last on Saturday morning”.
According to our source, “the community is helpless because since this incident happened, nobody has come to the community to even identify with us. We have been abandoned to our faith and that is why we have to negotiate with the bandits.
“Women and children are in the bush under this harsh condition without food and enough water. The entire community is traumatized since this incident happened”, he said.
He disclosed that no fewer than eight people, four women and four men have escaped from captivity in the last one week, and have relocated from the community.
“They told us that people are suffering there because there is no food to eat and no water to drink. They said they managed to escaped because the bandits could not keep eyes on everybody due to the large number of those kidnapped.
“They told us that there are over 100 people with the bandits in the bush, including other people kidnapped from other places. So the crowd is too much for them to manage and no food to give everybody”, he said.
Zagzaga community has remained without security since April this year when the Military closed down it camp in the community after armed Bandits numbering about 70 invaded the camp and killed the RSM and injured others.
The Military camp was established since 2018 after incessant attack on the community by bandits.
Ever since the Military shot down it camp, there has never being any security presence in the area as the people continue to rely on God and the little help from the ill-equipped local vigilantes to provide security.
Although the community has a police out post with two personnel, there is no accommodation for them to be used as office. They are also said to be ill-equipped.