Despite the sustained aerial offensive by the military in Zamfara, the degree of insecurity in the State has refused to abate. Not less than 60 people have been kidnapped by bandits in a fresh attack in the state.
The victims were all taken on Thursday night from Rini community in Bakura Local Government Area, LGA of the State.
The State Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Dosara, told TVC News Friday evening about the attack on Rini, the previous day.
He said that after the attack, 60 residents of the community could not be accounted for by the other residents.
In the interview, monitored by PREMIUM TIMES, the commissioner said bandits are intensifying attacks in the state because of the offensive by the Nigerian military, especially the Nigerian Air Force, against the bandits.
Zamfara is one of the states most affected by banditry in Northern Nigeria. Hundreds of people have been killed or kidnapped in the past year by the armed men in the state.
Rini is in Bakura Local Government Area, where bandits kidnapped 15 students and four staff in a Sunday night attack.
Two days after the students’ abduction, a video surfaced where the students where seen pleading with the Zamfara State government to “do the needful,” a euphemism for payment of ransom, in 24 hours.
A notorious bandit, Halilu Kachalla, who operates in Bakura, Maradun, Shinkafi (all in Zamfara State) and Sabon Birni (in Sokoto State) is suspected to be behind the abduction of the students of the College of Agriculture and Animal Sciences.
Dosara said the state government has intensified efforts to rid the state of banditry and all sort of criminality.
He also assured parents and relations of the abducted students and staff that they would be released in the next 48 hours.
It would be recalled that the bandits initially demanded for N350 million as ransom for the victim’s freedom. However, they later reduced the request to N150m. million. Family members of the victims and other Nigerians have been appealing for their release.