Bandits keep Zamfara councillors after N7m ransom

Two councillors of the Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, who were kidnapped by bandits last month, are still in captivity despite the fact that the sum of N7m has been paid as ransom to their abductors.

The bandits had abducted three councillors last month and demanded N40m to free them.

The kidnapped councillors are Lawal Gummi of the Ubandawaki Ward; Murlata Arzika of the Gayari Ward; and Sahabi Abubakar of the Birnin Tudun Ward.

But Arzika later escaped from the kidnappers.

The councillors, a source said, were travelling to Gusau from Gummi in one vehicle to attend a meeting.

According to the source, the three councillors had recently defected from the All Progressives Congress to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state.

A relative of one of the councillors, Alhaji Sahabi Birnin Tudun, said the bandits were demanded the sum of N40m as ransom for the release of the victims.

According to Sahabi, N7m was raised and sent to the bandits, who collected the money and only released the driver, who was kidnapped along with the councillors.

He stated, “They collected N7m because we told them that that was all we could raise, but they refused to release the councillors and told us to bring the balance of N33m.

“They only released the councillors’ driver, who was also kidnapped along with them.”

The State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Mohammed Shehu, said the command had been making efforts to free the councillors.

According to Shehu, since the abduction of the councillors, the command has mobilised its personnel to rescue them.

He added that 13 kidnapped persons were rescued by the police four days ago, including the district head of Wuya, Alhaji Umaru Usman; his son, Manir Umar; and the Chief Imam of Wuya, Malam Murtala Wuya.

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