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Kidnapped Katsina newlywed freed, husband narrates ordeal

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A couple kidnapped in Rumka community in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State have regained their freedom after spending 11 days in captivity.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how gunmen abducted the couple, who were newly married, and killed a lawmaker’s uncle, Sama’ila Supa, during the attack.

Residents said the couple were abducted about a week after their wedding ceremony.

The groom was identified as Sama’ila Abdullahi and the bride Zainab Isma’il.

The released couple told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday that the experience was terrible and unforgettable following days of horror and torture in the bandits’ enclave

How they were kidnapped

Mr Abdullahi said they were abducted around 1:00 a.m when the gunmen entered into their apartment demanding money.

”I told them I don’t have money, following that, they looted all our valuables including my wife’s new cloths and shoes including a blanket and went away with us into the bush,” Mr Abdullahi said.

He said while heading into the bush, the gunmen, who were initially eight, became five.

Mr Abdullahi added that the remaining three, whom he suspected to be the bandits’ informants, disappeared in the outskirts of the town.

“After we walked through the bush for about eight hours, we reached their enclave while the day broke, meeting other captives including a village head and many women.

“They handcuffed me like all other male captives with brand new security handcuff, they interrogated me on who built my house and sponsored my wedding. I replied that my late father started the building but after he died my in-law helped me to complete the house and finally the wedding.

“The insisted that my neighbour has money and that he is the one who built the house for me and sponsored the wedding. I said no, they started beating us and blindfolded me and separated me from my wife,” he narrated.

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He said they kept the female captives – numbering 20 – in a hut, separate from the men who were five in number.

”Days later, they joined me with my wife in a separate enclave in another different location where I met a Fulani man kidnapped from Dutsin-Ma.

“They gave us meals that were not well cooked and forced us to eat. We had sleepless nights because of the cold and harsh weather and no blanket to cover our body,” Mr Abdullahi said.

No ransom paid

While in captivity, Mr Abdullahi said a helicopter hovered around the airspace directly above their location, saying the ”gunmen hurriedly removed the handcuff from us and asked us to run and take a cover into a nearby rock in case the helicopter may drop bombs.

“In that condition, if the soldiers drop bombs, the innocent captive will be the ones to suffer casualties not the bandits because they have already taken cover close by watching any movement and very security conscious.”

He said the gunmen had different camps in the forest and could transfer their captives to anyone they wish.

According to Mr Abdullahi, their abductors took orders from their superiors before doing anything.

“We were released without paying a ransom. They told us that they are negotiating our release, we don’t know with who, they just released the handcuff and freed us after 11 days,” Mr Abdullahi told PREMIUM TIMES.

He said he spent most part of his time in captivity blindfolded and is now having problems seeing clearly.

”My wife also, she was subjected to various medical check-up after our freedom, I am gratetful to God almighty for sparing our lives and returning us home,” he added.

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