Terrorists in Katsina state, Northwest Nigeria, have reportedly devised a new method of collecting ransom after the state government shut down the telecommunications network to limit their operations.
According to Katsina Post, a local online publication, the terrorists have resorted to kidnapping two or more people and sending one of them with a written letter requesting the payment of the ransom.
Residents of Faskari, Sabuwa, and Dandume said the network shutdown initially reduced kidnappings before the terrorists discovered a new route.
They went on to say that terrorists are attacking villages and towns, knowing that they will be able to operate unabated because there is no way to call the Police.
They did, however, say that other measures taken by the state government, such as restricting motorcycle movement and intensifying search operations, are benefiting some communities.
In September, Katsina State Government cut off mobile telecommunication networks in 13 local government areas of the state as part of efforts to discourage terrorists being chased from Zamfara and Kaduna states from relocating to the state.
“The reason for taking the decision is that it helps in curbing banditry. It stops informants from reaching bandits and vice versa,” Ibrahim Katsina, a special adviser to Governor Aminu Masari stated.
Although this was a recent approach in Katsina state, it was not the first time terrorists were reported to have sent letters requesting ransom in northwestern Nigeria.
Terrorists in Sokoto state’s Sabon Birni area sent a handwritten letter requesting ransom from the “family and friends” of a kidnapped monarch in September after the mobile network shutdown.
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