How abducted passengers of Niger state transport company were released ‘after N30m ransom’ paid

The gunmen, who kidnapped 21 passengers of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA), got N30 million before releasing the victims, according to a Daily Trust report.

According to the report, Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, was involved in the negotiation.

The cleric went to a forest in Zamfara when the bandits he met in Niger claimed they were not the ones responsible for the abduction.

Gumi was said to have brokered the negotiation that led to the release of the passengers.

A security source told the publication that the gunmen initially requested for N50 million but later agreed on N30 million.

According to the security source, after the negotiation, Gumi visited other bandits camps within Zamfara State to see how the North can have lasting peace.

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The source said the government might be considering some of the demands of the bandits, including giving them a settlement where they can rear their cows peacefully.

“If some of their genuine requests are looked into, there might be reduction in the act of bandits, as they have complained of been maligned, attacks on them and their cows as well as all kinds of maltreatment melted against them,” he said.

The source said the governor is considering acting on the recommendations of Gumi so as to give attention to the genuine herders and solve the lingering insecurity crisis.

A father to one of the victims, who relayed what his daughter told him, said the victims were taken to a deep forest in Zamfara State.

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According to him, the girl narrated how they trekked a long distance inside deep forest.

She was quoted to have said that they were kept not far away from where the Kagara students were.

The bandits, according to her used the students as a means of protection against security forces.

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