The suspected mastermind of the abduction of over 300 schoolboys from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State last December, Auwal Daudawa, who has now surrendered his weapons, said he led the operation because the state governor, Aminu Masari, dared his men.
Daudawa stated that his men carried out the abduction because the governor had vowed never to dialogue with them and they wanted to prove to him that they were capable of causing violence and embarrassing his government.
In an interview with Daily Trust, the bandits’ leader, who was based in Dumburum forest in the Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, said, “I have never done that kind of mass abduction in Zamfara. I did that in Katsina because the governor came out to say he will not dialogue again with our people. So, we said since they said they were not interested in a peace deal and they were sending military jets to torment our people and destroy what we had, we should take the battle to those who are not interested in peace.
“I did that to demonstrate that I had the capacity to do it and I was not afraid of anybody other than Allah. It was for the government, and the whole world to know that we could do it but were hitherto not interested in something like that.”
Daudawa also denied that his group collected ransom before releasing the over 300 abducted students, challenging anyone who has contrary evidence to speak up.
“After the abduction, you could see that I was not difficult to come around during talks because I did not do it because of money. If it were for money, I would not have released them even for N2 trillion. The whole world knows, if I was given money, it would be known. If I was not given it is also known. It cannot be hidden,” he added.
His gang, which carried out the kidnap during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to his home state, terrorised residents and road users at Zurmi-Gidan Jaja and Jibia axes of the state.
Gun-wielding bandits had in the second week of December 2020 attacked the school during President Buhari’s four-day visit to his home state, carting over 300 schoolboys.
The schoolboys were released six days later.