Niger State Commissioner for information, Alhaji Muhammed Sani Idris, who regained freedom on Thursday night, has said he would have resigned if government had paid ransom for his freedom.
Idris said this while addressing journalists in Minna, the state capital, where he was received by the speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Abdullahi B Wuse, and some cabinet members.
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Narrating his ordeal, Idris said he was the only victim throughout the time he spent in the captivity.
He said despite the harsh treatment meted against him, he remained resilient and unbroken.
“The experience was traumatizing. I came out last night and I spent the night at a hospital for observation and I came in to Minna this morning, hale and hearty.”
“I was the only victim with the bandits and they told me that they see my case as a high-profile kidnapping and they planned for it very well with different people from different teams to ensure that they succeed.
“I was not rescued and I didn’t pay any ransom. It was just miraculous.
“When they started, they were very hard on me and push me to a limit you never expected human to still be resilient; but I give God the glory, because I remained there as a believer. I knew the God that I serve will always be there for me.
“I was asking them if what they were doing is welcomed in the eyes of Allah, gradually; instead of breaking me, I started breaking them.
“After then they started giving me bread and water. they untied me and use the only trampoline they had to cover me during rain while they stayed under the rain.
“They began to show concern, I kept talking to them and in the long run, they said I should go and reunite with my family, ” he said.
The Commissioner, who commended the state governor for standing by his words of not paying ransom to secure the release of any kidnapped victim, said he was proud to be part of the present government in Niger State.
“In fact, the first thing I did when I came out was to send a text to my governor to thank him for having the strength of heart not to allow any state machinery intervene in my release because we took a decision in council that the Niger state Government is averse to payment of ransom to bandits for any situation, for any case and now it happened to me.”
“They came with recordings where I made statements emphasizing this and reiterating it to them that as a government, in Niger State, we don’t pay ransom to bandits.
“I believe that we will succeed. I thank the government for standing by that, they were able to protect the integrity of our government.
“While I was there I was thinking of the people and the government of Niger State because I realized that God should intervened and ensured the government does not intervene in my affair.
“I came out unscathed aside from the beating and without paying a dime.
People will be surprised but I am a believer. When they captured me, what I did was to remember that God has promised to take us through trials and tribulations and that for those that are able to show resilience and withstand this, he promise us a lot, “he said.
According to him, his talk did not go in vain as kidnappers and bandits were shedding tears when he was leaving them.
He added, “I held onto the leader and told him that I forgive them for all the humiliations they have taken me through. They began to shed tears and they said that they pray that their meeting with me will be an end point to their banditry.”
The Speaker of the House, Wuse, who welcomed the commissioner, said the House had given out resolutions on what the government should do to end kidnapping and banditry in the state.
He added that it is left for the government to execute some of the resolutions to end banditry or reduce it.