The recent claim by the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle that the government secured the release of some girls without paying ransom has been disputed by the traditional leader of the affected community.
Lawal Dogara, the village head of Dan-Aji community in Faskari local government area of Katsina state, where some girls were kidnapped on October 13 before they were moved to Zamfara State, disclosed that N6.6 million was paid to the kidnappers to secure the freedom of the girls.
The traditional ruler explained further that Matawalle was not involved in the rescue process and should stop taking undue credit.
Naija News recalls Governor Matawalle had earlier in a statement by Zailani Bappa, his Special Adviser on Media, said they had successfully rescued 26 people from Katsina State, aged 8 to 12, from bandits without paying a ransom.
The Governor added that he will not stop talking to terrorists in his state. He said the talks were crucial to seeking peace in the state.
He said, “this is a testimony to our vision for engaging the bandits in a peace dialogue. For those who believe we are wrong to dialogue with the bandits, the securing of these minors who are all girls, unhurt, is indeed, priceless.”
Today, I interracted with 26 rescued girls after medical professionals have ascertained their physical and mental fitness following days of trauma suffered in kidnappers den. The young girls kidnapped from Katsina State were rescued on 6/11/2020 as a result of our intervention. pic.twitter.com/cNC22dyWN8
— Dr. Bello Matawalle (@Bellomatawalle1) November 8, 2020
However, Dogara in his reaction to claims by the Zamfara State Governor while speaking with newsmen on Monday, said the community paid before the girls were released by their abductors.
He explained that the money, which was contributed by parents and community members was handed over to two community leaders — Abdulkarim Dan Aji and Liman Babangida Dan-Aji — who delivered the ransom to the kidnappers after trekking for three days into the forest.
“Governor Matawalle was never involved in their release; it was purely efforts of the parents and the community leaders that secured the victims’ release,” Dogara said.
“The governor of Zamfara state should stop claiming credit for the release of our women, because we paid for their release.”
Several houses were burnt down while 15 persons were also killed during the attack as explained by Dogara, the village head.
Meanwhile, the Zamfara State governor has insisted that no ransom was paid for the release of the girls, saying the trending information is false and misleading while it should be disregarded by the public.
Source: Naija News