The kidnappers of Abdu Tela, an elderly man in Dayi town in Katsina State, have also seized his son, Sa’adu Abdu (alias Karshen Alewa Kasa), who took ransom money to them for his father’s release.
The kidnappers had before then, agreed for the money to be taken to a place around Safana town for the exchange.
It was gathered that they asked Sa’adu, who had the money on him, to come into the forest and take his father while his friends waited at a spot.
After some hours, the kidnappers however called the friends with Sa’adu’s mobile phone, informing them that the balance of N6m must be paid before releasing both Sa’adu and his father, Abdu Tela.
Reacting to the incident, the spokesman of the state police command, SP Gambo Isah, said it was a new development, adding, “We always warn against negotiating with kidnappers and urge people to trust the police to handle the situation.
People should always have confidence in security agencies to help and recover those kidnapped, we always ask them to resist negotiating, and kidnappers are not dependable.”
It would be recalled that kidnappers on October 29 attacked Dayi town in Malumfashi LGA of the state where they kidnapped Abdu Tela, the father of a popular businessman and philanthropist, Alhaji Ali Abdu. Kidnapping has assumed a disturbing dimension in Katsina State, where bandits continue to randomly seize residents and commuters for ransom.
From early this year, several kidnap incidents have been recorded, especially in the eight local governments of Jibia, Dandume, Faskari, Sabuwa, Danmusa, Safana, Kankara and Batsari, councils bordering the dreaded Rugu forest, which serves as hideout for bandits. It later extended to Dutsinma, Kurfi, Funtua and even Katsina metropolis.
At a point, the crime was linked to the fallout of the insecurity in neighbouring Zamfara State, prompting the state governor, Aminu Masari, is to sign a new law prescribing life sentence for kidnappers, as well as prohibiting bail for anyone arrested for such an offence.
The state government even initiated peace dialogues with bandits to end sustained attacks on communities in the state. According to the governor’s spokesman, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, the measure was necessary in order to curb or end the menace, which has now assumed a frightening dimension not only in Katsina but in many parts of the country.
The governor Masari challenged some elders to reign in their youth, many of whom have taken to kidnapping and other violent criminal activities as their trade of choice, warning that failure to do so may lead the rest of the society to jungle justice against kidnappers.
He said the criminal activities of some Fulani youth, especially in the Northwest, has led to the unfortunate profiling of the Fulani ethnic group, even when no ethnic group in the country is innocent of criminal activities.
He said his administration had spent over N5bn within four years to address security challenges. Some roads in the state are almost impassible at certain times of the day, even in broad daylight, and many residents live in fear, despite the police and government’s efforts.
Governor Masari had in a desperate effort to contain the situation, embarked on a series of dialogue with stakeholders and even some leaders of bandits, leading to the release of many kidnap victims and renunciation of banditry.
He has made efforts to meet with officials of the Zamfara State government and their counterparts in neighbouring state of Maradi in Niger Republic to discuss how to achieve peace.
As a result, repentant bandits had in recent times, released people they kidnapped from Katsina State as part of the peace deal with the state government, even as kidnapping continues.