Armed ViolenceNews

“My Experience As a Negotiator For Kidnap Victims With Terrorists.”

He is simply identified as Sani. He is from Makami community in the Shiroro part of Niger State, North Central Nigeria. With the escalation of violent raids by armed militiamen and frequent abduction of community members, the need to negotiate with the assailants for the rescue of victims became paramount.

Sani fitted into a profile of one tasking such assignment. It is a risky work that requires tact and courage. In the course of the investigation of the terror raids on communities in Shiroro, Niger state, HumAngle met and spoke with Sani. He shared his experiences:

“The group (members) normally cover their faces, they won’t allow the people to see their faces, and freedom is negotiated ranging from one million naira to four million naira (about 2,500 dollars to 10,000 dollars at current rate).”

“They are pure Fulani tribesmen, mostly from different parts of the country. Some are even foreigners.” Sani reveals the strategy that opens up the negotiation process: “they normally contact the relatives of the victims, some may ask me to help them negotiate and pay the ransom to the group.”

“The militiamen will normally keep me in Damba Forest close to Kaduna. They can spend like three hours spying the bush before they come out.”

Sani told HumAngle that he had been accused of being an informant to the criminals, adding, “One evening, on my way coming from Magami Market, some people surrounded me and asked me to park my motorcycle.

“They tied my hands, covered my face and took me to an unknown place and beat me up, hit me with cutlasses until I was unconscious. After some hours, I recovered. My relative reported them to the police but nothing has been done. In fact, the culprits are now moving freely in Shiroro.”

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