Insecurity: Bandits Take Over Buhari’s State, Abduct 39 Children, Collect Millions As Levies From Farmers

Insecurity: Bandits Take Over Buhari’s State, Abduct 39 Children, Collect Millions As Levies From Farmers

  • Banditry in northern Nigeria has become a norm over the past few years and a menace to Nigerian society
  • Aside from the killings and continuous rate of kidnapping, Bandits now extort money from vulnerable farmers in small communities
  • In Katsina state, at least 39 children were recently kidnapped on a farm, while a of N30million has been demanded as ransom

No fewer than 39 children have been kidnapped by notorious bandits in the rural communities of Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Daily Trust reported that the daredevil bandits abducted the 39 children while working on a farm.

Bandit, Katsina state, Farmers
Farmers in some of the affected Katsina communities alleged that bandits extort them in millions so as to protect their farm produce from their invasion. Photo: Daily Trust
Source: UGC

The report says the bandits on, their numbers surrounded the farm and immediately launched the attack to kidnap the children.

Parents of the abducted children in agony pleaded with the government to help rescue their children.

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An account from one of the sources in the Mairuwa community disclosed that there were sporadic shootings at the farm when bandits invaded it.

The source revealed that the owner of the farm where the incident transpired had earlier paid the sum of N1million to the bandits as a levy to allow his labourers to work effectively without fear of attack.

It was gathered that during the raid, some of the adults who worked at the farm scampered for safety during the invasion.

The source said:

“They demanded N3m from the owner for him to be able to harvest his produce, he gave them N1 million as part payment and decided to begin the work before completing the money, but unfortunately, the bandits did not accept that.
“In our village, Mairuwa, alone we have 33 among the victims including young ladies who are due for marriage.”

Another resident in the same community gave a similar account while revealing that the bandits have contacted the farm’s owner and a N30million ransom has been demanded to release the abducted children.

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The source said in the phone conversation that the bandit revealed that the children were not the target but the farm's owner or his representative.

Meanwhile, it was later gathered that parents of the abducted children converged in the residence of the farm’s owner on Monday, October 31, lamenting and pleading for an intervention for the release of their children.

On the other hand, some parents blamed the farm’s owner for putting their children’s lives in harm’s way.

The police, however, apprehended the farm’s owner for the tragic incident at his farm and later released him on bail.

How bandits extort farmers in Katsina

Residents also lamented that farmers had paid millions in levies to bandits to keep the peace around the various communities.

One of the residents who narrated how bandits collect this levy regularly said a N2million levy fee has been fixed by bandits but was later renegotiated to N600,000.

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He said:

“We were able to mobilise the sum of N400,000 and paid to the bandits, but we have to complete that N200,000 before we access our farms. Other surrounding villages are also threatened, the situation is really bad here.”

Residents of affected communities called on the federal government, security agencies, and other relevant agencies to come to their aid, especially in evacuating their harvested farm produce that is now in possession of the bandits.

The police spokesperson for the Katsina police command, SP Gambo Isah, revealed that efforts are on course to ensure the safe return of the abducted children.

However, at least six abductees were said to have been released on Tuesday, November 1.

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In another similar report, farmers union in Birnin Gwari local government area of Kaduna state is calling for help over the activities of bandits in the area.

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The union's chairman, Ishaq Usman Kasai said farmers are now being taxed millions to gain access to their farmlands.

The union said many farmers who are unable to meet up with the demands of the farmers have been sacked from their farmlands by bandits.


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