Bandits write district head, demand N20m to free abducted victims

DUE to the absence of mobile telecommunications service in some parts of Sokoto State, some bandits operating in the Eastern Senatorial district of the state have allegedly written a letter to a traditional ruler in Burkusuma in Sabon-Birni Local Government demanding for N20 million ransom to release 20 persons abducted from two communities in the area. 

Sunday Tribune learnt that the letter was written in the Hausa language by one of the victims kidnapped by the bandits and addressed to Sarkin Rafin Burkusuma, the district head of the area. 

The bandits in the letter informed the district head that their victims (abducted in Gatawa and Burkusuma) are all in good health and doing great with them. 

They demanded a ransom of N20 million must be paid before they would release their victims. The kidnapped victims, whose names were all written in the letter, were nine males, eight females and two children, one of which was released to deliver the letter to Gatawa through the SarkinRakinBurkusuma. 

Sunday Tribune gathered that the bandits resorted to sending letters to families of their victims, following the shutdown of telecommunications services in the area. 

Sunday Tribune made effort to reach the Sokoto State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Sanusi Abubakar, but his official mobile line could not be reached as of the time of filing this report. 

Meanwhile, Niger State Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Dr Ibrahim Garba Musa, has been abducted along with his granddaughter. 

Ten women and another set of 10 persons were also killed in Kachiwe village, SarkinPawa ward, in Munya Local Government Area of the state last Thursday. 

The permanent secretary was said to have been abducted in his house in Zungeru by some gunmen suspected to be armed bandits. 

Sunday Tribune gathered that the embattled Permanent Secretary was in Zungeru for a wedding ceremony, but was picked up by unidentified gunmen in the night after the celebration. A family source stated that the gunmen entered the residential building by breaking down the entrance gate to abduct the Permanent Secretary. 

Reacting to the incident, the Secretary, Munya local government council, James Isaac Jagaba, stated said that: “The heavily armed bandits with sophisticated weapons invaded the community on their operational motorcycles and vehicles. The next day when I paid a visit to the community, there were car tracks after the local government secretariat had been notified of the attack. He stated further that the bandits razed down all the houses in the community, roasted ten persons alive, abducted about 10 women and slaughtered several others like rams, stressing that the whole of Kachiwe village has been turned into a ghost town with no survival. 

The Council Secretary however expressed regrets, saying that: “All efforts to reach the security personnel were fruitless. We were informed that for some days, telecommunications network in Munya local government was seized.” 

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has confirmed the death of two soldiers and others injured in the recent Kagara attack in Rafi Local Government Area of the state.



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