The bandits have demanded a ransom of 50 million naira for the release of a retired colonel, Rabiu Yandoto, and his two sons who were still in captivity.

Speaking to The PUNCH by phone, one of Yandoto’s relatives who requested anonymity for security reasons said the bandits called him and demanded a ransom of N50 million.

Last week, suspected bandits kidnapped the retired colonel and his two sons along the Gusau-Tsafe highway in Zamfara state.

The retired colonel was returning to his hometown together with his sons, when they were ambushed by bandits and taken into the forest.

However, according to him, the money has been reduced to N5 million, after a series of negotiations between the bandits and the family.

“They called me three days ago and told me that we should bring the sum of N50 million if we want Colonel Yandoto and his sons to be released.

“But after negotiations, they said that we should bring N5 million. We thought that he was dead because we suspect that he was kidnapped by hit men for political reasons.

“We are trying to raise the amount through donations from family and friends,” he added.

Contacted for comment, state Police Command spokesman SP Mohammed Shehu said he was not aware of the money demanded by the bandits.

However, he stated that “the state police command under the leadership of CP Kolo Yusuf was making frantic efforts to rescue Colonel Yandoto and his sons.

“I do not know the amount demanded by the bandits for the release of the retired Colonel.

“All I know is that the command, under the direction of CP Kolo Yusuf’s bureau, is doing everything possible to rescue him.”

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