Sani Idris, the Niger Commissioner of Information, has been released by his kidnappers.
Idris was kidnapped on Monday, August 9, after gunmen broke into his home in Babban-Tunga, a community off the Abuja-Kaduna highway. Before whisking him away, they were said to have attacked his wife and baby.
The commissioner has been released by his kidnappers, according to family sources.
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According to a source quoted in the Daily Trust, the family sold some valuables to raise the ransom demanded by the bandits. The source also told the publication that he has no idea how much was paid to secure his release and that the government made no contribution.
Despite marathon meetings over the commissioner’s kidnapping on Monday, Governor Sani Bello is said to have ruled out the option of paying a ransom. According to the publication, the governor stated that his conscience would not allow him to pay a ransom for the cabinet member because students abducted from an Islamic school in Tegina had been held captive for more than two months.
After regaining his freedom, Idris was overheard telling a group of people that his kidnappers had told him that the governor was releasing money to him every week. He also stated that those who kidnapped him have been forgiven.
“Allah has promised to put us to the test… I have forgiven the people who kidnapped me. I don’t want anyone cursing them or saying anything negative about them.
“When I left them, they were crying. They expressed regret for abducting me. That they had been hired to kidnap me. They (the kidnappers) were from Zamfara, and the person who hired them said the governor gives him over 200 million naira every month.
“They claimed the person told them that if I didn’t give them N200 million, they wouldn’t release me.”