SOKAPU raises alarm over NI00m ransom demand
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has raised alarm over the N100m demanded by kidnappers from victims and their families in southern Kaduna communities.
SOKAPU said armed herdsmen invaded the communities in January and carted away foodstuff, cattle, valuables and cash worth millions of naira, while 12 teenage girls and 30 men were abducted.
The group said, yesterday, that the gunmen have made a telephone call, demanding N100m ransom before releasing their victims.A statement issued by SOKAPU’s National Publicity Secretary, Luka Biniyat, said: “The kidnappers phoned to asked for N100m ransom for their release, which is an impossible amount for the villagers. After two weeks in captivity, the outlaws killed one of their hostages, Luka Sarki, 42, father of three, who was also the community’s youth leader. This was to drive home the seriousness of the murderous criminals.
“The already impoverished villagers were then forced to once more sell all they had left to raise N10m.
Some had to sell their farmlands to raise their share of the ransom. After 30 days in captivity, the remaining 41 hostages were released to return home from the Katsina bush they were taken to.
“With nowhere to run, the villagers still live in their homes in Badna, impoverished and in constant fear. Most of the surrounding villages are deserted. The terrorist herdsmen have a camp about a kilometre from Badna, and have been moving about unchallenged to remind their victims that terror still lurks around them…”
She explained that after receiving several distress calls from the villagers, SOKAPU’s National Assistant Treasurer, Mrs. Mary Sheyin, led some members of the body’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) to the village…”
The villagers were given bags of rice, beans, cartons of Indomie noodles and bags of maize flour to address acute food shortage facing them. Badna village head, Mr. Ali Bature was quoted as saying: “…Feeding had been a big challenge to us outside the risk of another invasion. No government official has come to see us…”
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