The bandits who abducted women accompanying a bride to her matrimonial home at Damari, Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State last Thursday have released a video showing the captives.
In the video, which is currently trending on social media, the bandits threatened to tie the wedding knot between the already married lady and one of them, unless relations of the captors paid a ransom of N100 million to them.
Similarly, the outlaws vowed to sell off the ‘62 wedding guests’ that were kidnapped alongside the bride, if their demands were not met.
During last Thursday’s attack on the wedding convoy, four members of a vigilante group were reportedly killed and no fewer than 55 wedding guests, including children, were snatched, and have since then been held hostage, according to villagers.
The victims, including friends of the bride from Dandume, were ambushed at Sabuwa while travelling in an open van.
In the footage, a gang leader, cladded in 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 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.
Haruna Abdullahi, an uncle of the bride, stated: “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.”
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, expressing appreciation for the governor’s concern and promise of rescuing the victims.
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.
In recent times, the rate of attacks and abductions by bandit groups has increased in Katsina State, after months of relative decline in the incidences.