As many as 85 people who were kidnapped by bandits in Wanzamai village, Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State are still in captivity, The PUNCH reports.
The PUNCH learnt on Tuesday that the bandits have made a fresh demand for additional N850,000 ransom to buy two motorcycles, as replacement for those destroyed during a raid on their enclave by the military.
Speaking to The PUNCH on phone, an indigene of the area, Abubakar Na’Allah, said the bandits sent a message to families of the 85 abductees, demanding that they raise N850,000 by paying N10,000 each.
Na’Allah said, “You know that the bandits had earlier subsidised the ransom from N50m to N1.7m but now they have suddenly changed their minds and asked us to pay additional N850,000.
“The military personnel destroyed two motorcycles belonging to bandits in an encounter, as such, they (bandits) want the Wanzamai community to pay for the damaged motorcycles.”
Na’Allah told The PUNCH correspondent that the community had been able to raise the N1.7m earlier demanded by the bandits and were about to go to bandits camp and make the payment when they got the latest information of additional amount of N850, 000.
“We wanted to meet the deadline given to us by the bandits and pay the sum of N1.7m as they earlier demanded but with this sad development, we have to look for other ways to get the additional N850,000,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state government said it would not withdraw the military personnel from Wanzamai village as demanded by the bandits as one of the conditions for them to release the kidnapped victims.
The state Commissioner for Security, DIG retired Mamman Tsafe, told The PUNCH that, “We will not be intimidated and no pressure from the bandits will make us change our security arrangements.”