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Police claim no ransom paid to rescue Zamfara lawmaker’s daughters abducted 17 months ago



The Nigeria Police Force says the rescue of the two young daughters of a member of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, Honourable Aminu Ardo, who were abducted by bandits 17 months ago, was achieved without the payment of ransom.

The children were abducted with their mother and other siblings, but luckily, the mother escaped with the other children, leaving the two, Maryam, 10, and Nana Asma’u, eight, with the bandits.

According to Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Isuku Victor, who disclosed this during a press conference at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, where the rescued girls were handed over to their parents, the rescue followed a combined effort of security agencies with the coordination of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu.

While addressing the press conference the Deputy FPRO said:

“In November 2022, the quiet village of Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State was shattered by an act of violence that would forever change the lives of one family.

“Bandits, riding over 60 motorcycles, invaded the residence of Honourable Aminu Ardo, a member of the Zamfara State House of Assembly. In a brutal display of terror, they abducted his wife, Hauwa’u, and their four young children: Maryam, Nana Asma’u, Ummul Khairi, and Abdulrazaq.

“The abductees were taken to an unknown forest in Katsina State, enduring a harrowing journey by foot and motorcycle; throughout their captivity, these children were sustained on meagre rations of maize and salt, drinking water from a nearby stream.

“While in captivity, Hauwa’u gave birth under extremely harsh conditions, but tragically, the newborn did not survive. Despite the unbearable circumstances, Hauwa’u’s strength and resolve remained unbroken.

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“One night, during the rainy season of 2023, she managed to unchain herself and escape with two of her children, Ummul Khairi and Abdulrazaq. However, Maryam and Nana Asma’u were left behind, still in the grip of their captors.

“Today’s briefing on the successful rescue operation is a direct result of these strategic initiatives stemming from leveraging advanced intelligence from our Force Intelligence Department and operational tactics from the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Katsina command as well as tactical support from the Nigerian Air Force 215 FOB, Funtua, which led to locating and safe rescue of these minors. No ransom was paid for the rescue.

“While we celebrate this successful rescue, we remain acutely aware of the ongoing challenges in our fight against kidnapping and other forms of violent crimes.

“Let me emphasise that the Nigeria Police Force, under the leadership of IGP Kayode Egbetokun, is more determined than ever to tackle kidnapping and other violent crimes head-on.

“Our zeal is evident in our relentless pursuit of criminals, our strategic deployment of resources, and our commitment to adopting the latest technologies and intelligence-gathering methods.

“We are resolute in our quest to dismantle criminal networks and ensure that justice is served leveraging on the dedication of our officers and intelligence sharing and synergy between the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies, as well as timely support from the community.”

“The police expressed sympathies to families affected by the crimes. Your resilience in the face of such adversity inspires us to intensify our efforts.

“We stand with you, and we will continue to fight tirelessly to ensure that no child, no mother, no father, no family has to endure such horrors again.”

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