Bandits free Niger abductees, give residents peace option | Dailytrust

Bandits free Niger abductees, give residents peace option

Residents of Rafi LGA in Niger State have revealed that bandits have given them the option of entering into a peace deal to save their community from further attacks.

City and Crime gathered that the release of some of the abducted residents on Friday and Saturday without payment of ransom was on the basis of the peace deal.

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It was also gathered that the bandits had raided the community on Wednesday night, during which they killed three people and abducted many others, including five women and the chief imam of Maguzawa.

The chief imam and the five women were later released and reportedly told by the bandits to take the news of the killing home and to also inform their communities of the peace deal option.

Bandits also reportedly told the released imam that the plan for peace was on condition that they (bandits) would be allowed to settle in their communities without any attempt to harass or report them to the authorities.

City and Crime also gathered that another set of abductees from Maguzawa and Gidigore, the two communities attacked on Tuesday and Wednesday was also released on Saturday without payment of ransom.

The residents said some community leaders had rejected the peace deal, saying they did not trust the bandits and would not live with their enemies and thieves who had caused them trauma and frustration.

One of those who fled the community and is currently a refugee in Kagara, headquarters of Rafi Local Government, said “in my house alone, nine lives have been lost due to a series of bandits’ attacks on my community over the years. 

“I am now in a rented house, which I have not even been able to pay for this year. The cost of renting in Kagara ranges between N60,000 and N70,000. As I speak with you now, I have not been able to renew my rent. 

“Both those of us in rented houses and those in the IDP camps, we are battling with hunger. Also in IDP camps in Kagara, there is no portable drinking water.

“How then do you want us to welcome the people who have caused us these problems. We are against their so-called peace deal,” he said.

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