Katsina State government has been accused by Awulu, a top commander in the banditry group that abducted over 300 schoolboys in Kankara Local Government Area of the state of paying them the sum of N30 million as ransom before the boys were released.
The development is contrary to the statement released by Zamfara, Kastina and the Federal Government that no ransom was paid to release the students.
Recall that gunmen on motorbikes attacked Government Science Secondary School, Kankara around 11 pm, and abducted over 300 students.
President Muhammadu Buhari Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, while speaking on the development said the rescue operation was aided by repentant bandits and no ransom was paid.
The Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, also said no ransom was paid for the release of the boys from their captors were false.
He said, “I insist we did not pay any ransom to the kidnappers, it was purely negotiation.”
“Like I stated earlier, those involved in the negotiations include my adviser, some top military and police operatives, members of the Miyeti Allah; they were all involved in the negotiations.”
“We do not pay ransom to bandits because if we do that, we would be encouraging them to be more daring.”
The Defence Headquarters while narrating the role of the military said troops closed in on the abductors from four different fronts.
DHQ added that different measures were taken to ensure that the students were released unhurt, adding that there was resistance from the abductors who laid an ambush against the troops.
“Following the directive, the troop closed in on the abductors from four different fronts, including the reinforcement that was made from other divisions to ensure that the entire location was sealed off.”
“The bandits were all under siege, and they were fully aware of that, feeling the impacts of the presence of the troops both from the air and on the ground,” Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche said.
According to SaharaReporters, in a leaked telephone conversation between Awulu and a former council boss in Katsina State, the bandits commander admitted the group collected N30m from the state government.
When told by the former LGA chairman that some government officials claimed N800 million was given to the group, Awulu exclaimed and said, “You said what? N800m? How many millions again? Who said that? So they paid N30 million and claimed N800m, now they have stopped cattle rearing.”
Responding, the former council boss said, “I will send you the speech and I will advise you speak out so citizens will know you did what you did for peace and what they paid you was N30 million. This not fair at all, they call us thieves while they are the real thieves. We want peace but this governor has no integrity.”