Dan-Aji community of Faskari local government area of Katsina state, where 26 girls abducted and recently released by bandits, said it paid ransom to secure their freedom.
The village head of Dan-Aji, Lawal Dogara, disclosed this to newsmen in Katsina on Monday.
This was contrary to the claim by Zamfara state government that the abducted women were rescued by repentant bandits who are in truce with the state government.
“The governor of Zamfara state should stop claiming credit for the release of our women because we paid for their release,” he said.
Dialogue with bandits
Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, had previously claimed the freedom of the Katsina 26 was an outcome of dialogue with bandits.
The government claimed the girls were released into its custody without ransom paid, Matawalle’s spokesperson Zailani Bappa said in a press release.
“This is a testimony to our vision for engaging the bandits in 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,” he said receiving the girls earlier.
Zamfara state commissioner on Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran, handed over the 26 abducted girls to Katsina state Governor, where he posited that they were rescued by his state government under its peace deal with the bandits.
Also on his Twitter handle, the Zamfara state govrernor, Dr Bello Matawalle, (@Bellomatawalle1) tweeted, “Today, I interacted 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.”
The 26 rescued girls, whose ages range between 8 and 12, were medically checked and provided with new clothes.
The governor ordered for their safe return to Katsina state.