Auwal Daudawa, believed to have masterminded the abduction of students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, last year, has said he led the operation because Governor Bello Masari dared his men.
In an interview with Daily Trust, Daudawa said he wanted to prove to the government that he had the capacity to carry out such an attack.
According to him, Masari had ruled out the option of dialoguing with his group and he wanted to show the governor that they were capable of causing violence.
He said, “I have never done that kind of mass abduction in Zamfara. I did that in Katsina because the governor came out to say he will not dialogue again with our people. So, we said since they said they were not interested in peace deal and they were sending military jets to torment our people, and destroy what we had, we should take the battle to those who are not interested in peace.
“I did that to demonstrate that I had the capacity to do it and I was not afraid of anybody other than Allah. It was for the government, and the whole world to know that we could do it but were hitherto not interested in something like that.”
Daudawa also denied that his group collected ransom before releasing the over 300 abducted students, challenging anyone who has contrary evidence to speak up.
“After the abduction, you could see that I was not difficult to come around during talks because I did not do it because of money. If it were for money, I would not have released them even for N2 trillion. The whole world knows, if I was given money, it would be known, if I was not given it is also known. It cannot be hidden.”
Before he laid down his arms, Daudawa, according to the publication, was leading a gang of bandits that had a base in Dumburum forest in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
His gang terrorised residents and road users at Zurmi-Gidan Jaja and Jibia axis of the state.