The village head of Kutunku in Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger state, Ibrahim Yusuf, said bandits have contacted him concerning 19 persons abducted from the village.
Speaking with TheCable on Thursday, Yusuf said the bandits contacted him via phone call on Wednesday evening and demanded N200 million as ransom to free the 19 persons abducted.
The village head said the village has reported the incident to the police, saying that the village leadership is lookingf for ways to get the abductees released.
“They called us and asked for money. They are holding 19 people and they are telling us we should bring n200 million,” he said.
“We don’t know what to do because we are all in confusion in the village now, including our wives and children; we don’t know what to do. Even if we sell our house, we cannot get that money.”
It was learned that the gunmen reportedly operated for at least two hours and moved the captives to the bush where they parked their motorcycles.
Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) has disclosed that controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi can’t be arrested for negotiating with bandits.
Monguno disclosed that Gumi was discussing with the bandits as part of his promise to the government to help curb insecurity in the country.
The Sheikh has also constantly called on the government to give amnesty to the bandits.
There have been calls from various quarters for Gumi to be arrested, questioned, and prosecuted over his frequent hobnob with the bandits but the NSA while addressing newsmen at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday noted that the cleric was operating within his constitutional rights.
Monguno said, “Sheik Gumi is doing what he’s doing because he believes in what he’s doing. He’s a Nigerian and under the constitution, he can talk to anybody. He can deal with anybody.
“I met with him when I went with the service chiefs to Kaduna, and we spoke generally during the meeting and he resolved to help the government. We are waiting for him. That’s all I can say.”