The banditry group that abducted over 300 schoolboys in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State has said contrary to the Federal and Katsina State government’s claims that no ransom was paid to free the students, the group received a payment of N30 million ransom from Katsina state government before releasing the boys.
According to SaharaReporters, Awulu, a top commander of the group made the disclosure in a leaked telephone conversation between between and a former council Chairman in Katsina State.
“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,” SaharaReporter quoted the bandit leader as replying the former LGA chairman who informed him that some government officials claimed N800 million was given to the group.
Responding, the former council chairman 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.”
PURPLEWORLD reports that no fewer than 300 schoolboys were abducted in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, after gunmen on motorbikes stormed Government Science Secondary School, Kankara around 11 pm on December 11, 2020.
They later gained freedom on December 17, 2020, and the military, Federal and Katsina government claimed that no ransom was paid insisting the rescue operation was facilitated by repentant bandits.
“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,” Governor Masari of Katsina State reportedly said on the night the boys were released.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, and Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche also insisted then that no ransom was paid for the release of the schoolboys.
“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 on the release of the boys.
But the new revelation by the bandit leader clearly contradicts the government and military claims.