Niger community residents raise N5m, motorcycles, free leader’s wives

The two wives of the District Head of Zungeru, Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State, who were abducted by gunmen suspected to be bandits, have regained their freedom after the payment of N5m ransom.

Gunmen numbering about 20 had a week ago invaded the sleepy town around 1.30am, headed straight for the residence of the community leader , Mallam Mustapha Madaki, located in the heart of the town, and took him and his two wives away.

During the operation that lasted about 30 minutes, the Madakin Zungeru was said to have hid inside the room of one of his wives, Habiba, from where he was eventually captured and led away with the two women.

The gunmen were said to have invaded Zungeru in a convoy of 10 motorcycles, which they parked about 500 metres away from the town, and went to the house of their targets unchallenged.

A source in the local government area told our correspondent that after several days of negotiations, the community was able to raise N5m out of the N10m demanded by the abductors.

“The bandits initially demanded that we pay them N10m and buy them 100 android phones and five Bajaj motorcycles. But we were not able to raise that amount,” the source stated.

The bandits, it was gathered, asked the community to bring the phones and motorcycles to a designated spot in Madaka, Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

As of the time of filing this report, it could not be ascertained if the traditional ruler had been released, but unconfirmed reports had it that the two wives had been taken to a medical facility in Abuja for treatment.

The spokesman for the state police command, Wasiu Abiodun, did not take his call and had yet to reply a text message sent to his mobile phone on the development.

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