We Paid N6.6m Ransom to Secure Release of Abducted Girls, Says Katsina Community

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* Accuses Matawalle of lying

By Francis Sardauna

Residents of Dan Aji community in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State have debunked the claim by the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, that 26 kidnapped girls from the community were released by their abductors without paying of any ransom.

The residents of the community said that they paid N6.6 million ransom to secure the release of the 26 kidnapped girls.

The Zamfara State Governor, Matawalle, had on Sunday in Zamfara, said that he secured the release of the 26 Katsina captives from the bandits “without the payment of any ransom”.

The leader of the community, Mr. Lawal Dogara, who denied Matawalle’s claim at a press conference in Katsina, said the parents of the teenage girls contributed N6.6 million and paid to their abductors before they regained freedom.

The 26 rescued girls, whose ages range from eight to 12, were kidnapped by the marauding bandits on October 13 and the hoodlums later demanded N6.6 million ransom.

But Dogara during the press conference, said: “Governor Bello Matawalle lied, he was never involved in the rescue of our daughters. We contributed N6.6 million and took it to their abductors before they were released.

“The ransom was taken to the kidnappers in their hideout by two representatives of our community namely: Alhaji Abdulkarim Dan Aji and Liman Babangida. They trekked for three hours to locate the bandits in their hideouts bordering Zamfara State.”

He called on the Zamfara State governor to desist from parading himself as the person who secured the release of the girls, insisting that the governor has no hands in their release.

He, however, said the bandits, during the attack on the community, killed 15 people, set ablaze numerable houses and shops before kidnapping the freed victims.