According to SaharaReporetrs, the many residents of Burra community in the Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State have said they paid over N72million as ransom to kidnappers in order to secure the release of their family and loved ones in 2020.
The Executive Chairman of Ningi LGA, Mamuda Hassan Tabla disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Bauchi.
Tabla lamented that the people of the area are now living in perpetual fear every day due to incessant kidnapping and other forms of banditry.
He said that the council had received complaints from Farmers’ Associations from Burra communities about the influx of strangers from Zamfara State, numbering about 5,000 households that settled in the bush, the vast Lame/Burra Games reserves.
He also said that that the council reliably gathered that the strangers had been cutting trees and farming in the area, adding that they even built a mosque and after that their settling had become a threat to the natives.
"The communities witnessed series of abduction of their people. Whenever a person is abducted, the bandits will ask the victim to take the ransom to Zamfara State and within the last one year, the communities said they paid over N72million as ransom," he said.
"When we received the report, we decided to investigate the matter and discovered that the present administration inherited the problem. We noticed that people from other states started settling in the bush since 2012 with series of kidnappings taking place, even in Ningi town.
"We have reported the matter to his Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed. The Governor sat with us on three occasions concerning the issue of security in our area. Gladly, the governor took urgent action to address the situation by sending fighter jets that ransacked the bush and cleared the criminals from Lame Burra game reserve.
"The governor deployed security personnel to protect the people and recruited hunters and vigilantes as part of an effort to protect the lives and properties of our citizens which reduced the activities of banditry in our area.”
Tabla further said that the communities live in palpable fear due to the activities of the bandits kidnapping their people and are gradually taking away their farms, adding that the move is to make the residents of the communities in abject poverty as they keep paying ransom to them and losing their farms.