Family members of the Al-Kadriyar girls say they paid ransom to bandits for the release of five of the six girls who were among the 23 persons kidnapped on January 2, 2023, in the Bwari area of Abuja.
Recall that four persons were killed by the bandits last week, while the remaining 19 persons regained their freedom on Saturday night.
Speaking to Punch on Sunday, uncles to the Al-Kadriyar girls, Abbas and Sherifdeen Al-Kadriyar, debunked reports by the FCT police and Nigerian Army sources that the girls and other victims were rescued through their joint efforts.
“We paid a ransom for the release of our girls. A ransom was paid, and the police were not involved. The children called me, and I went to pick them up. On my way, I saw soldiers at the junction, and the bush is a very thick bush along the Gurara Dam, so I had to call the attention of the soldiers to follow me to the spot where we could locate our children, Punch quoted Abbas Al-Kadriyar, who picked up the girls from the forest, to have said.
“The bandits left them there to call us to come and pick them up. But we paid a ransom, and no police were involved. The children were not rescued by anyone, the soldiers only assisted me in locating where they were and they provided a cover for us.”
In corroborating the account, another uncle, Sheriffdeen Al-Kadriyar, also noted, “My elder brother was the one who went to pick up the girls on Saturday, days after we’ve paid the ransom. But the soldiers escorted them back home.”
Meanwhile, the FCT Police Command had earlier claimed that the Al-Kadriyar sisters and other abducted victims were rescued from the bandits’ den in Kajuru forest in Kaduna State by a joint team of policemen and soldiers of the Nigerian Army on Saturday night.
About 23 persons were abducted on January 2, 2024, in the Zuma 1 area of Kawu, in the Bwari Area Council of Abuja.
Speaking in a statement on Sunday, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh, said the victims were rescued by the FCT anti-kidnapping squad in a concerted effort with troops of the Nigerian Army.
SP Adeh said, “Following the relentless advancement of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command Anti-Kidnapping squad in a concerted effort with troops of the Nigerian Army, on the heels of the kidnappers that struck the Zuma 1 area in the Bwari Area Council on January 2, 2024, the FCT police has rescued the victims and reunited them with their families.
“The operatives successfully rescued the victims around Kajuru forest in Kaduna State at about 11:30 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2024.
“While appreciating the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, for the deployment of the newly commissioned Special Intervention Squad, which has given an uplift to the existing security architecture of the FCT and has brewed public confidence, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Haruna Garba, wishes to reiterate the commands commitment to sustaining the robust security deployment made in the area and other parts of the Territory for the utmost maintenance of peace for all and sundry.
“The good people of FCT are hence encouraged to note the following emergency lines and promptly report suspicious activities; 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883. PCB: 09022222352.”
Courtesy – PUNCH