Armed bandits have rejected a ransom offered by the Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Nasir Magarya, for the release of his father.
Premium Times reported that Mr Magarya’s father was kidnapped alongside five others in August during an evening attack on Magarya village of Zurmi local government area.
State government officials reportedly reached out to bandits’ kingpin, Halilu Kachalla, to help in negotiating with the gang holding the speaker’s father.
An aide of the speaker told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Kachalla was invited into the negotiation by a local government official in Shinkafi.
He said the speaker’s followers in Zurmi and Shinkafi local government areas had reached out to Mr Kachalla immediately after the abduction.
A top aide of the Speaker, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed to Premium Times that the speaker’s aides decided to go ahead and provide the money as requested by the bandits.
“A former Commissioner, who is from Zurmi, has been in the forefront of the negotiations with the bandits. Halilu Kachalla tried his best but you know they are having problem with most of the bandits leaders in the state because they believe he is now inching closer to the state government.
“So, the former Commissioner told the Speaker that they should go ahead and pay the ransom because Kachalla had failed in the negotiation,” he said.
The source, however, said he did not know the amount provided.
“All I know is that some of our people in Shinkafi and Zurmi took the money to the Turji camp but they didn’t even meet him (Turji). They discussed with one of his top commanders, Dan Bukkolo, who told them that the order was that they should go back with the money,” he said.
This is coming a few days after bandits burnt down houses belonging to the speaker, his father and uncle in Magarya village.
The media aide of the speaker, Mustafa Kaura, could not be immediately reached due to the absence of mobile telecommunications network in the state.