Bandits operating in the Katsina State region of Nigeria have released a video threatening to marry off an abducted bride and auction her wedding guests.
Recall the bandits abducted the bride and women accompanying her to her matrimonial home at Damari, Sabuwa Local Government Area of the state. last Thursday.
In a viral video circulating on social media networks, the bandits threatened to marry the new bride off to one of their members unless relations of the victims paid a ransom of N100 million to them.
Meanwhile, the bandits made a solemn pledge to auction off the ’62 wedding guests’ abducted with the bride unless their demands were fulfilled.
In the footage, a gang leader who was in a police uniform, put the captives’ number at 63.
He taunted the government saying they would marry off the bride if the ransom was not paid.
“I am the one who abducted them, and I will never release them until ransom is paid. And if there is anyone who thinks they could rescue them, they should try it,” he said.
Also in the footage, some of the captives were seen with AK-47 rifles hung around their necks, while the bride was seen dressed in an army uniform, with one of the bandits saying “Here is the bride adorned in an army uniform”.
The captives were heard pleading for help; asking their relations to pay the ransom.
The driver of the vehicle that conveyed the wedding guests, was also seen in the video carrying a gun, pleading that the ransom be paid.
The bride’s family confirmed that the terrorists were demanding a ransom of N100 million for the release of all the captives.
“They are asking for N100 million as ransom. None of us has ever seen that amount of money; so I told them directly that we don’t have such funds,” Haruna Abdullahi, an uncle of the bride told the a national daily.
He also said the kidnappers told him they shot the video as a challenge to the state governor, Dikko Umar Radda, who was reported to have vowed to rescue the victims.
“They said they made the video to demonstrate their seriousness to the governor,” Abdullahi said.
Abdullahi disclosed that among those abducted were eight of his sisters and nine daughters.
Another family member, who simply identified himself as Zubairu, revealed that his wife, six children and 13 relatives were among the abductees.
Speaking to newsmen on the incident, the Katsina State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Dr Nasiru Mu’azu Danmusa, said government officials had met with security agents and were devising ways of rescuing the captives unharmed.
He appealed to the relatives of the bandits to exercise patience, saying that rescuing the abductees was not something that could be achieved overnight