– Bandits have revealed that they want better lives according to a freed captive

– The unnamed individual also revealed that the criminals are also training young boys as gunmen

– However, he encouraged the government to dialogue with them

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An unnamed captive of rampaging bandits in northern Nigeria has narrated how he was kidnapped and eventually released by the criminals after his family members paid the ransom placed on him.

According to the Daily Trust, the captive said he was kidnapped “along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari road and just after Buruku, near a junction called Rumanan Gwari”.

He said when they finally arrived at the criminals’ camp, they were kept in chains to prevent them from running away.

He narrated how he met a professor from a top university in the country. Going further, he claimed that he saw angry young boys who are being trained as bandits.

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He revealed that the bandits kill when they discover that a captive has no way of raising money to pay ransom.

He revealed how a man was killed because he has no phone to communicate with his family. He said the man’s body was left for wild animals to devour.

“I stayed for 12 days before I was freed. What puzzled me was the fact that during my stay, the bandits told us that they wanted better lives and did not choose to be bandits.

“They told us that many of their members have been killed and their properties destroyed and they have dependents, so they decided to join banditry.

“They said if the government wanted peace, it must realize that they are also Nigerians and the government and security agents should negotiate with them. They said as long as government continued to call them bandits and viewed them with contempt, they would also act like bandits.

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Going further, he claimed that the government does not know how to deal with the situation. He consequently urged them to negotiate with the bandits.

He said:

“Based on my observation, I don’t think government has any wisdom or strategy to end this thing and so for me, the best way is to reach out to these people and negotiate so that people in the remote villages can have peace.

“The bandits around Birnin Gwari have made it clear that they will not leave the area, anyone who is travelling to Birnin Gwari from Kaduna or going to Kaduna from Birnin Gwari is in danger. Some people may find an alternative route but we don’t have any.”