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Bandits demand N40 trillion and 150 bikes to release 16 victims kidnapped in Kaduna



Bandits have reportedly demanded N40 trillion, 150 bikes, and others as a ransom to release the 16 residents abducted from the Gonin Gora area of Kaduna State.

A community leader of the area, John Yusuf, disclosed this in a telephone interview on Monday in Kaduna.

Yusuf said the bandits called and demanded N40 trillion, 11 Hilux vans, and 150 brand-new motorcycles for the release of the victims.

This is the first time bandits would make such a huge demand since abduction for ransom started in Nigeria.

On February 28, bandits killed two residents of Anguwan Auta in Gonin Gora and abducted several others.

After the attack, residents of the area on February 29 blocked the Kaduna-Abuja highway for several hours to protest against the killing and abduction.

Yusuf said the bandits attacked the community twice within the week.

“The bandits have contacted us. They are demanding N40 trillion, 11 Hilux vans and 150 motorcycles for the release of 16 people they are holding captive,” he said.

“Where are we going to get this kind of money? Even if we sell the entire community, we cannot raise N40 trillion. Even Nigeria as a country has never made a budget of N40 trillion.

“The abductions happened twice within four days interval. During the first attack, three people were kidnapped while in the second attack, 13 people were abducted bringing the total number of people being held captive to 16.”

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He said the communities in Birnin Gwari are surrounded by bushes serving as hideouts for the bandits, adding that the establishment of a military base would tackle the criminal operations in the area.

“We are pleading with the government to come to our aid by establishing a military base behind our community where the bandits take advantage of the bushes to invade our community,” Yusuf said.

“From our community down to Birnin Gwari which is over 150 kilometres is a stretch of bush. We also have another stretch of bushes from Gonin Gora down to Niger state.

“So when the criminals have free access through the bushes to our community. We are pleading with the government to help us. The army are really trying, despite the fact that they are seriously overstretched. Whenever we make distressed calls they come.

“But the problem is that before they reach the community, the bandits would have done what they wanted and left.”

The community leader commended the Nigerian Army for their efforts in fighting bandits.

He called on the federal government to take necessary actions to address banditry saying, “if not it is going to consume all of us”.

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