Four Arrested Bandits Allegedly Swapped For Freed Kagara Students

Four Arrested Bandits Allegedly Swapped For Freed Kagara Students

February 28, 2021 Off By Rasheed Makinde

Four Arrested Bandits Allegedly Swapped For Freed Kagara Students

 

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Sources familiar with the negotiations that led to the release of staff and students of Government Science College in Kagara, Niger State, have alleged that four members of the bandits’ gang were freed in exchange for the abductees.

It would be recalled that 27 students, 3 teachers, two non-teaching staff and 9 family members of the staff were kidnapped by the bandits attacked the school on February 17.

Thankfully, the kidnap victims were released in the early hours of Saturday February 27.

According to Daily Trust, a security expert who did not want his name in print for security reasons, said the victims were only released on Saturday after officials agreed to release four members of the terrorists gang.

The publication reported that reliable sources said the kidnappers operate between Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State and Rafi Local Government in Niger State.

They alleged that the abductors demanded the release of six members of their group arrested at different times by security agents.

Four of the six named persons, were identified in different detention facilities in Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.

One of the sources stated;

I can tell you that contrary to the Governor of Niger State who said the students and their teachers were released without payment of any ransom, I can tell you that apart from payment of ransom, four of the commanders of the bandits earlier arrested were exchanged before the students could be released.

The Niger State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Idris, also said there was no prisoner swap as strategies deployed for the release of the students, but that is not true either.

The security expert stressed;

The kidnappers, who operate between Birnin Gwari local government area in Kaduna State, and Rafi local government in Niger State, had demanded the release of six commanders of their group arrested at different times by security agents.

Four of the six named persons, were identified in different detention facilities in Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.

The source added;

One of the bandits used in reaching out to the group had to ride on a motorcycle for nine hours to go and meet the Kachalla (leader) of the kidnappers.

The Kachalla was persuaded to allow the victims to be set free even though not all the persons they wanted out from detention were released.

The process to perfect the release of the other two is being concluded and they would be released before Monday.

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However, Niger state government told reporters yesterday February 27, that no ransom was paid for the release of the affected persons.

On his part, Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Idris said there was no prisoner swap as strategies were deployed for the release of the students.