Gunmen in Nigeria Seek Negotiations After Abducting Dozens, Families Report

Gunmen who abducted 105 individuals in northwest Nigeria last week reportedly seek negotiations with the Zamfara state government, according to five families of the victims contacted by the armed perpetrators on Monday. Unlike typical ransom demands, these assailants appear to be aiming for dialogue with the government. Armed gangs have been causing fear and chaos in northern Nigeria, frequently abducting villagers, students, and motorists for financial gain.

The attacks occurred in the villages of Gora, Madomawa, and Jambuzu in Zamfara’s Birnin-Magaji local government area on Friday night, resulting in the abduction of numerous residents. Bello Mohammed, whose wife, three children, and young brother were among the victims from Gora, recounted receiving a call on Saturday night from the perpetrators themselves. They indicated they were not seeking ransom payments but urged him and others to relay a message to the state governor, expressing their readiness for negotiations.

While the abductors did not specify the terms of negotiation, multiple families confirmed receiving similar calls. Wadatau Adamu, whose four daughters were among those abducted, highlighted the frequent attacks by gunmen in rural and remote villages like Gora, where security presence is minimal. Several families have conveyed the message to local leaders, awaiting further action.

Additional residents reported receiving similar calls, expressing anguish over the situation. Zamfara’s information commissioner Mannir Kaura was unavailable for comment. However, in a statement dated May 11, Kaura condemned unnamed individuals advocating for negotiations with the kidnappers, stating that the state government has rejected any peace accord initiatives with bandits proposed by such groups.