Armed ViolenceNews

29 Abducted Travellers Regain Freedom After Paying N20m Ransom In Northwest Nigeria

They were returning from the wedding of one of their colleagues in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria when they were kidnapped.

Twenty-nine persons abducted on their way to a wedding at Tambuwal, Sokoto State, Northwest Nigeria have been released after the payment of N20 million ransom.

The victims who are phone marketers at the Bebeji Communication Market in Gusau, Zamfara State capital were freed on Thursday, June 23 after the ransom payment at a forest that links Bakura and Tureta LGAs of Sokoto and Zamfara states, both in Nigeria’s northwest.

Sources close to the mediators confirmed that “there were no efforts or role played by either the federal government or Zamfara state government in the successful release of the young entrepreneurs throughout the entire process.”

Police post set ablaze

In a related development, terrorists set a police outpost on fire in Zugu town, Bukuyum Local Government Area (LGA) of Zamfara State, also on June 23.

The attack took place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. WAT also led to the burning of a police vehicle at the station.

“Police personnel were overpowered during a gun fight and eventually ran for their lives,” Abubakar Abbas, a resident of Zugu who witnessed the incident, told HumAngle.

The gang was said to have come from their camp suspected to be located at Gando or Fasagora forests of Bukuyum LGA. They also targeted villages and communities of Barikin-Daji, Kwado, Loni, Lanke and Karaye of Gummi LGA of the state.

Zugu Police Outpost after being razed by terrorists. Photo Credit: Lukuman Zugu/Facebook

Residents of Zugu were conveyed to safer locations in Daki-Takwas by truck drivers after the incident.

Malam Bello Mohammed Zugu, 47, a resident of the area, told HumAngle that “prior to the attack on the police outpost, the group ransacked many shops, kiosks and stores in search of food, telephones at charging points, money and other valuables.”

The district head of the area, Alhaji Nasiru Dan-Marafa, described the attack as an incident he had never experienced “in 49 years of my life.” Many houses and shops were set ablaze.

One of the houses set on fire in the Zugu town attack. Photo Credit: Lukuman Zugu Zugu/Facebook 

“Presently, we are verifying how many women have been abducted from my chiefdom, including the commuters. You know Zugu town is located by the federal highway that links Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara leading to Niger, Kwara and Lagos states,” Dan-Marafa said. 

As of the time of filing this report, there has been no official comment from either Zamfara State Government or the State Police Command regarding the released wedding attendants. Also, all efforts to speak to Muhammed Shehu, Spokesperson of the Zamfara State Police Command, proved abortive as none of his telephone lines could be reached. 

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