Nigeria: Gunmen kidnap 39 children from farm

Nigeria: Gunmen kidnap 39 children from farm

UPGRADE DAY

A criminal group has kidnapped 39 children working on a farm in northwestern Nigeria for ransom, police and a local official said on Wednesday. < /p>

Dozens of armed men on Sunday raided a farm outside the village of Mairuwa in Katsina State, abducting the 39 children, the sources said.

Armed gangs, known locally as “bandits”, terrorize the northwestern and central states of Africa's most populous country, looting, kidnapping and killing villagers.

Hostages are usually released after paying ransom to gangs who find refuge in the vast Rugu forest, which straddles the states of Zamfara, Niger, Katsina and Kaduna.

“The bandits have invaded the farm at Mairuwa and have caught the underage workers,” Katsina police spokesman Gambo Isah said.

“Our agents have been mobilized to the area with the mission of rescuing the hostages and apprehending the criminals,” Isah added, without giving further details.

A local Faskari district official , in which the village of Mairuwa is located, claimed that there were dozens of workers altogether.

“The adult workers, who could run much faster, managed to escape, but the 39 children, who could not outrun the bandits, were captured,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

In the past, the manager of the farm had made a deal with the bandits: money for the promise that the harvest could take place. But the gunmen only received a down payment, the Faskari official said.

“It is obvious that the bandits were furious that activity had resumed on the farm without the full sum having been paid. been resolved,” he continued.

The district of Faskari, located on the border with Zamfara State, lives under recurrent threats of kidnappings by bandits, according to this source.

President Muhammadu Buhari is under fire from critics after two terms marked in particular by the rise in insecurity, four months before the presidential election in which he will not stand again, in agreement with the Constitution.

Besides bandits, Nigeria, which has a population of nearly 215 million, is also plagued by jihadist groups in the northeast and separatist unrest in the southeast.< /p>