Brazen bandits terrorising the Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna State recently released some hostages after collecting a certain amount of foodstuffs including N10,000 airtime from their relatives.
The released hostages, according to Ishaq Usman Kasai, the Chairman, Birnin Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU), were kidnapped on September 24, 2022, at Kwaga Community. A day before, one farmer was killed in Shiwaka community.
The victims were later set free on Wednesday after their relatives provided “20 Mudu of rice, 20 Mudu of beans, 25 litres of red oil, 25 litres of groundnut oil and a recharge card of N10,000.”
He added that other four victims from Unguwan Liman were also set free after payment of N2.5 million ransom.
Fortunately, five farmers from Kurgin Gabas and Sabon-Layi communities escaped from the kidnappers’ den on September 22, after spending a week in captivity.
Members of Ansaru terror group yesterday evening clashed with other bandit factions, killing an unspecified number of them in Damari community, Kaduna State. The incident also led to the seizure of four abducted persons from the bandits, BEPU Chairman told WikkiTimes earlier on Friday.
“Ansaru members returned to Damari area two days ago,” he said. “They clashed with some marauding bandits yesterday evening in Damari town and seized four persons including two males and two females, kidnapped from somewhere. They have also killed many of the routing bandits.”
“As of 9:00 am, some dead bodies of bandits and their motorcycles were discovered in Damari town. Ansaru members are also in the town right now in large numbers,” he said, adding residents are fleeing their homes.
He further told WikkiTimes that bandits also invaded Bagoma yesterday and kidnapped scores. Bagoma, according to him, is about two kilometers from Birnin-Gwari town.
‘BANDITS IMPOSED LEVIES ON FARMING COMMUNITIES‘
Despite imposing levies on some farming communities, WikkiTimes learnt that the bandits abducted over 20 farmers on their farms in Jangali and Kwaga communities in Birnin Gwari.
“As farmers begin to harvest their crops, armed bandits intensify their attacks and impose levies on some farming communities in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State,” BEPU notes in a statement shared with WikkiTimes.
The bandits have mandated about four communities to pay N3 million ransom each, the group disclosed. They include Kwaga, Kwana-Shehu, Unguwan-Liman and Unguwan Shekarau communities, all in Birnin Gwari.
“The bandits informed some farming communities including Kwaga, Kwanan-Shehu, Unguwan Liman and Unguwan Shekarau to pay levies amounting to 12 million — N3 million each — in order for them to be allowed to continue harvesting their crops,” BEPU Chairman said, adding the communities were given today as deadline.
According to him, farmers have started tasking themselves in accordance with their farm sizes.
“We are appealing to the Nigerian Government to come to the aid of the helpless farming communities of Birnin Gwari in order to allow them free access to their farms and harvest their crops without any harm or intimidation,” he stated.
The Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Mohammed Jalige, did not respond to calls. Also, he has not responded to an enquiry sent to him as of press time.