Bandits have demanded N200 million as ransom to free the 19 persons abducted from Kutunku village in Wushishi LGA of Niger state.
Ibrahim Yusuf, the village head, disclosed that the bandits made the demand via a phone call on Wednesday evening.
The bandits invaded the village at around 1am on Monday and kidnapped 19 residents including six women.
They were said to have operated for at least two hours and trekked back to the bush where they parked their motorcycles.
Yusuf said on Thursday that the bandits called and insisted on getting N200 million to release those taken hostage.
“They called us and asked for money. They are holding 19 people and they are telling us we should bring n200 million,” he said in a phone interview.
“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.”
He added that the village has reported the incident to the police while “we are looking for a way out”.
The demand for ransom raises fresh concerns over how the bandits buy arms to sustain their attacks on communities across the north.
On Tuesday, Abubakar Bello, governor of Niger, said some of the bandits who claimed to have repented, collect money to purchase more weapons to continue attacking villagers.