The Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said on Tuesday no ransom was paid to secure the release of 26 girls kidnapped by bandits in Katsina State and taken to a bush in the state.
The governor had earlier claimed that the girls were released through dialogue with their abductors.
“For those who believe we are wrong to dialogue with the bandits, the securing of these minors who are all girls, unhurt, is indeed priceless,” Mattawalle had said in an earlier statement issued by his aide, Zailani Bappa.
But residents of Dan Aji community in Faskari local government area of Katsina State, where the kidnapped girls hailed from, refuted the governor’s claim.
The residents said they paid N6.6 million ransom to secure the release of the girls.
In a swift reaction, the governor in a fresh statement issued by his media on Tuesday insisted that the state government did not pay a dime to secure the girls’ release.