Bandits Demand N20 Million Ransom From WHO, MSS Staff, Farmers in Zamfara

Armed bandits in Zamfara State, Northwestern Nigeria, on Thursday, 18 May, advanced their ransom demand on staff members of World Health Organization (WHO) and Midwife Service Scheme (MSS) including farmers.

Residents from the area said the group made the demand of N20 Million ransom payment for the release of the kidnapped staff of WHO, MSS and 27 residents of Keta village earlier abducted on Sat. 13 May, at about 3:20 a.m.

Both Sim Friday from Kafanchan of Kaduna State, a working staff with MSS and Aminu Bala, a Field Volunteer working with WHO were abducted the same day while on official visit to the Primary Health Care Centre (PHC) in Keta village, Tsafe LGA in Zamfara State. 

“Our 29 local people were forcefully abducted in the night at 3:20 a.m including 2 health facility personnel who were also kidnapped in the same morning. Twenty five (25) out of whom are women, 5 men.” The District Head of Keta told HumAngle on condition of anonymity.

Saying that, “we intended not to make any monetary contribution for the armed marauders. But with the abduction of our people we find it necessary to task ourselves. Each household is asked to pay N5,000 targeting to gather N6 Million to get our loved ones released.” 

However “the armed group contacted the families of the WHO and MSS Staff asking them to pay N20 million, though later renegotiated and reduced to N5 million each. We came to know this when we told the gang that the 2 health personnel were among us in the community justifying the payment we would make also affected them.” Maman Keta told HumAngle.

“They [bandits] said we were lying, suggesting that they were not from our village. So they separated them. He added. 

Confirming from the families of the kidnapped victims, Media Smart learnt that Dogo Sule and Abu Ruwa, the notorious armed terrorists have been the two (2) kingpins disturbing the various communities of the areas. 

The 2 of them were already the kinsmen to Ado Aleru whose overbearing influence fetched him the status to be revered to by the marauders in Tsafe LGA making him the king of Fulanis as turbaned by the Emir of Yandoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Garba Marafa as approved by the Zamfara State Governor Muhammad Bello Matawalle.

Meanwhile, 18 travelers have been reported abducted in an armed criminal operation allegedly led by Dogo Sule today [Thursday], 18 May, at about 12:50 p.m.

Usman Aliyu, a resident of Kwankwado who narrowly escaped the armed attack, told HumAngle “we were on transit from Kwaren-ganuwa heading to Keta when the armed group started shooting in the air at the road. I saw how an 18-seater bus brushed our car and fell down. This led to the abduction of 17 passengers who were trapped and could not run away.”

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