Residents of the Birnin-Gwari area of Kaduna State reportedly gathered mudus (measures) of grains as ransom to bandits on Thursday to secure the freedom of their family members kidnapped by the assailants.
Naija News learnt that the bandits had stormed the community some days ago and abducted some persons working on their farmlands.
However, after a series of bargains, the bandits yesterday reportedly set free six hostages after collecting 20 mudus (measures) of rice, 20 mudus of beans, 25 litres of red oil, 25 litres of groundnut oil and a recharge card of N10,000 as ransom.
A resident who narrated the incident to newsmen said before the latest event, the bandits stormed Unguwan Liman area of Kaduna on Sunday, September 25 and abducted one person.
He said the victim was later freed alongside one other person abducted at Unguwan Shekarau after the payments of N2 million and N500,000, respectively.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Friday, the Chairman of Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU), Ishaq Usman Kasai, disclosed that the bandits have asked the farming communities to pay 12 million in levies before they would be allowed to harvest their crops.
“The bandits informed some farming communities including Kwaga, Kwanan-Shehu, Unguwan Liman and Unguwan Shekarau to pay levies of N12 million to be allowed to continue harvesting their crops. These communities were given until Friday (today) to meet the conditions, failing which they would kidnap any person found at a farm. The Union found that these helpless communities have started making contributions based on farm size to meet the condition and the dateline,” Kasai revealed.
However, while the bandits have released some of their hostages after being paid the ransoms, they’ve killed at least six farmers in the area between Thursday, September 15, and Tuesday, September 27.