Bandits have started demanding food as ransom for their captives, after some governors in the North-west closed markets in the region.
The development is said to be taking a toll on bandits who have been facing both land and aerial bombardments from the Nigerian military.
Governors of Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto had ordered the closure of markets in their states to check the activities of bandits that have led to loss of lives, kidnappings and loss of property.
Last week, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also asked telecommunications companies to suspend services in Zamfara, to enable the security agencies to undertake operations to flush out the criminals.
According to Daily Trust, bandits in Sokoto are now demanding food from family members of their captives.
The newspaper quoted a resident of Sabo Birni who said a neighbour’s ward was released after food items were given to the bandits.
“They abducted a daughter of one man in our village and when he could not raise the money, they asked him to bring 10 measures of rice to collect the girl and they kept their promises,” the resident said.
Another resident of Sokoto said bandits requested food items and drinks to release a driver they had abducted.
“They initially demanded N15 million before later agreeing to accept N600,000,” he reportedly said.
“They asked his employer, who is my friend, to use the money to buy bags of rice, crates of energy drinks, cartons of spaghetti, cigarettes and bring the remaining change to them.
“The man is still trying to raise the money.”