- More details are emerging on how the schoolboys kidnapped in Katsina state were released
- The Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle, has revealed he was part of the negotiations
- The governor also dismissed insinuations that Boko Haram terrorists were behind the abduction
Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle, has revealed how he facilitated the release of 344 schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara without payment of ransom.
In an interview with Daily Nigerian, Matawalle said he used repentant bandits and the leadership of Miyetti Allah to identify the syndicate that led the abduction, and then started the negotiation process.
“When we established contact with them, I persuaded them to release them unharmed. And so they did tonight. This is not the first time we facilitated the release of our people without payment of ransom.
Kankara abduction: This group was responsible for the boys' release - Masara reveals, speaks on ransom
“Ask anybody, we don’t pay bandits a dime. What we do is to extend an olive branch to them because they also want to live in peace.”
In a related development, Governor Bello Masari of Katsina has revealed that the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) was responsible for the release of the Kankara boys.
Governor Masari, however, denied claims that the state government paid a ransom in cash to secure the boys' freedom.
Speaking on how the abducted students were freed, the governor explained that the military, the police, his special senior adviser on security, Mallam Ibrahim Katsina, and the MACBAN were directly involved in the process.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress has alleged that a Nigerian governor from a northwest state is behind the attacks by bandits in the region.
The spokesperson for the party, Yekini Nabena made the accusation in a statement on Thursday, December 17, in Abuja.
He claimed that intelligence reports had linked the governor to the heightened cases of banditry, kidnappings, and other violent crimes.
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