Controversy trails release of Niger monarch by abductors | Dailytrust

Controversy trails release of Niger monarch by abductors

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Aliyu,

A month after the report of the release of Dodo of Wawa, Dr Mahmoud Ahmed Aliyu, flooded the media, he is neither seen by his family nor in the palace, Daily Trust can report.

Dr Aliyu was abducted in his palace by heavily armed men around 9pm on September 4 and taken to an unknown destination.

Consequently, the State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Wasiu Abiodun, as well as the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Noel Berje, separately confirmed the release of the traditional ruler to newsmen on September 10, 2021.

But both the palace and family of the monarch had refuted the release of the traditional ruler, accusing the state police command and spokesperson of the state governor of misleading the public.

The Police authority in the state had, however, insisted that the confirmation of his release followed the report it gathered from the Police Division in the area and a traditional title holder in the palace.

The PPRO declined further comment on the matter, as he also expressed disappointment over the development.

The Chief Press Secretary to the State Government was not reachable as of the time of filing this report.

But the family and traditional title holders in the palace told Daily Trust correspondent on Sunday that they never set their eyes on the monarch since he was said to be set free.

The Wazirin Wawa, one of the key traditional title holders in the palace, Alhaji Ja’afar Ibrahim Bio, said the monarch was still in captivity, but abductors had established contact with the palace, demanding N25m ransom.

He refuted the rumour that the state government was in discussion with the kidnappers.

According to him, “The Government had on no time in touch with the kidnappers.

“I was not aware that the government was in talks directly with the kidnappers.

“They (kidnappers) have started calling one of the traditional title holders. They demanded the ransom of N30m.

“And the second time they called, we begged them and they considered the need to come down, and they have reduced it by five million. And they were expecting us to pay N25m.”

Alhaji Bio noted they had not been able to raise the amount demanded.

He added, “There are no well-to-do individuals in Wawa who can help to raise that amount demanded.

“They said if we don’t raise that money within a short time, they will not be in contact with us for a very long time.”

Waziri, however, revealed that; “the truth of the matter was that on the night of September 10 some people were jubilating that Dodo was around.

“As titleholders, most of us, we rushed down to the palace, asking where was Dodo.

“We asked members of his family, none of them saw the Dodo. And none of us saw the Dodo.”

He said that the family and the traditional title holders felt embarrassed and disappointed with confirmation of the release by the police and government authorities citing traditional title holders as sources of their information.

However, a member of the family of the monarch who spoke in confidence said, “the situation was very controversial.

“The very day they said he was released, we didn’t even know who said or where the information came from.

“We heard different information from different quarters. Some people said he was in the Army Barrack or Government House.

“But since then, nobody from his family, either his children or his wives were able to talk to him or see him.”

He confirmed that the kidnappers had last week established contact for the first time with the palace through his mobile telephone line.

A nephew to the monarch who doesn’t what his name in print also told our correspondent that, “The day we were told that he was released, we waited to see his arrival, up to the following day; but we waited in vain.

“And up till this moment, we have not seen him. They gave us Thursday as the deadline to bring the ransom. Dodo has not been released.”