Eleven persons kidnapped in Rafi local government area of Niger State are yet to be released one month after they were abducted, residents said.
In the attacks, PREMIUM TIMES reported that a police officer, securing a bank, was killed alongside five residents of Kagara town, the council headquarters of Rafi local government area.
On September 2, the attackers raided the bank’s ATM and abducted 11 persons.
Suleiman Haruna, a relative of some of the kidnapped victims, told PREMIUM TIMES that the kidnappers were demanding N8 million before to release the abductees.
“We have spoken with them several times on payment of ransom; now they said they can’t pick our calls unless we provide the money and the payment would be for all the abductees not some of them,” Mr Haruna said.
A traditional ruler in the area, who confided in PREMIUM TIMES, said that it has been a month since the victims have been in captivity due to the inability of their relatives to pay the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
He said the majority of the relatives of those kidnapped were living from hand to mouth, thus, they cannot raise the millions of naira ransom.
The traditional ruler identified the kidnaped victims as: Juli Umar, Salihu Alawa, Rahamat Muhammad, Farida Muhammad, Ismail Ibrahim. He said the latter three are secondary school students.
Other victims are Abdulqadir Ibrahim, Ibrahim Musa, Abdulqadir Adamu, Friday Seme, Mr Nathaniel, and Mr Obi; a chemist.
The traditional ruler appealed to the government and other concerned citizens to help secure the release of the victims and reunite them with their loved ones.
When contacted on Friday, Wasiu Abiodun, the police spokesperson in Niger State, did not respond to questions on the efforts of security personnel to rescue the victims. He said he would call back; however, he didn’t do so hours later.
The Rafi council area in Niger State shares a border with the troubled Birnin Gwari local government area in Kaduna State.
Banditry has been a long-running scourge for residents of the area. In Niger State, between 2011 and June 2020, over 582 people were killed in attacks.
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