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Katsina Insecurity: Terrorists demand N250m ransom for kidnap victims

By Faith Awa Maji, Katsina

WEDNESDAY, 14 September, 2022, terorrists in large numbers had invaded Bakiyawa village of Batagarawa area of Katsina State, killed four residents, kidnapped 43 others, burgled shops and rustled cattles have today demanded for N250 million Naira as ransom.

Son of one of the kidnapped victims, Zaharadden Tukur, whose father was among the four people killed in the attack, said he has become the breadwinner of family of 13. “When they invaded the community, they went into our house shooting sporadically.

“My father quickly ran out of his room to talk to them. He pleaded with them to leave us alone but they refused. They asked him to surrender his phone which he did. They asked him for money and he gave them but they said he should add more. He told them he didn’t have any money left but they insisted.”

He said that some of the terorrists were asked to take the father into his room, instead killed him.

A Victim family member, Yusuf Laura said he was called by the terrorists to inform the residents of their decision. “They called me around 07:00 p.m on Thursday and told me that they were holding 43 of our people. Out of that number, 11 are bilogically related to me including my wife and daughters.”

He said the leader of the gang holding the residents asked him if his immediate family were among those abducted? “I told him that my wife, Bilkisu, Ummulsalma, a two year old daughter and my eldest daughter, Shafa’atu who is a student of the Federal College of Education Katsina and Ibrahim. They’re all with the bandits and I’ve not spoken with them since.

“Last Monday (19, September) they called me again around 3:17 p.m and asked what we were waiting for. It’s something that we must do but it’s not easy especially because when they came, they took away everything of value in the community. So, in this community nobody can tell you that we can get half of that amount” Laura said.

The victims relation whose shop was also burgled, said the whole community has now been turned into confusion as they await the outcome of not paying the ransom.

According to him “The government has not said anything to us not to talk of helping us rescue our people. But we’ve now resorted to prayers for God’s interventions”.

Another resident, Nura Sada said “nearly every household is affected. In some houses, more than five people were abducted. We’re meeting to see how we could talk to the terrorists to reduce the money but how do we even start gathering such amount of money when we no longer have domestic animals to sell? It’ll be difficult”.

Reacting to the development, Katsina State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isa said “I’ve not been briefed on the matter (ransom demand) so, I don’t know but the command is making efforts to rescue those abducted in Bakiyawa and other communities in the State”.

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