The Katsina State Police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, has confirmed that bandits abducted 39 children while working on a farm in the Faskari Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement on Wednesday morning, Isah said the children were abducted on Sunday when the heavily armed bandits, in their large numbers, invaded the farm where the children were working.
“Yes, the Command can confirm that 39 young children were kidnapped by bandits on Sunday while working on a farm in Faskari LGA. The bandits, in their large numbers, invaded the farm and abducted the children.
“From what we gathered, the bandits who were heavily armed, started shooting sporadically after they surrounded the farm,” Isah said.
A member of the community who did not want his identity unveiled, said the bandits have reached out to the leaders of the community and demanded an unspecified amount as ransom.
He added that even before the children could be allowed to work on the farm, the community had paid N1 million to the bandits as farming levy out of the N3 million they had demanded.
“They demanded N3m from the owner of the farm for him to be able to harvest his produce; he gave them N1 million as part payment and decided to begin the work before completing the money, but unfortunately, the bandits did not accept that.
“In our village, Mairuwa, alone we have 33 among the victims including young ladies who are due for marriage,” he said.
Isah has however, promised that the state police is doing everything possible to rescue the victims “with synergy with the state government and other security agencies.”