Terrorists Reject Old Naira Notes As Ransom In Northwest Nigeria

The terrorists demanded new naira notes as against the old on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in exchange for the bride and her wedding guests who were kidnapped on Dec. 29 last year.

A terror group responsible for the kidnap of a bride has rejected the ransom payment of NGN3 million made in old notes. This took place in Masama-Mudi village, Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria.

The terrorists demanded new naira notes as against the old on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in exchange for the bride and her wedding guests who were kidnapped on Dec. 29 last year.

The rejection of the old naira notes followed a series of failed negotiations between the bride’s relatives, whom HumAngle spoke to, and the terrorists.

Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced a redesign of its three highest denominations of Naira notes in an effort to stall the flow of cash among terrorists through ransom payment. According to this new policy, by Jan. 31, the old naira notes will become obsolete. Even though not enough new naira notes are in circulation, the deadline stands.

Yusuf Mamman, a relative of the bride, told HumAngle that “the armed gang earlier demanded N30 million as a ransom for the abducted bride. And we had nothing close to even a million naira in our family.

“Rukayya is an orphan whose father and mother are no more since she was nine years old. We have nothing like N30 million naira. So we later bargained for her release at the cost of N1.5 million, which we got by house-to-house contribution within our community. But the gang refused.” 

Yusuf lamented: “We sold out our farms and even the matrimonial bed and we sold out all the paraphernalia needed for the new bride to get the money for her safe release. Even at that time, we could only gather N3 million with the donations from our neighbours.”

But when the family reached out to the terrorists, their leader rejected the N3 million cash. 

The negotiator explained that “despite all the difficulties we passed through in getting the money for the captors, they rejected the money they called old and are now asking us to go back and change to the new notes.

“The terrorists directed us to go to the bank and ask for new money and none of us even has a bank account.”

Efforts to speak to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mohammed Shehu, of Zamfara State Police Command, failed at the time this report was filed as his telephone line could not be reached.

Usman Modibbo Halilu, DPO of Bukuyum LGA, said after the abduction of the bride and an Imam in the area, “the armed groups’ atrocities and their heinous crimes are drastically reducing because of the strong resistance of the security operatives in the area.

“If you observe, the terrorists hardly launch attacks as they did before.”

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