Father of Rt. Hon. Muazu Magarya, Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, has died in the captivity of bandits still holding him hostage in expectation of ransom.
The bandits had abducted the speaker’s father, uncle, step-mother and four other relatives from their Magarya countryhome, last month.
A notorious bandit known as Turji is suspected to be behind the abduction.
Although another notorius bandit, Halilu Kachalla, was said to have intervened with Turji to release the captives, he refused.
Sources close to the speaker had told newsmen that one of Turji’s commanders, Dan Bokkolo, rejected the ransom money brought by the speaker’s aides.
Reacting at the police headquarters in the state on Saturday evening, an uncle to the speaker, Dahiru Sarki, said his brother died of heart failure while he was being held by the bandits.
Sarki and four of those kidnapped at Magarya’s house had earlier been rescued by police and military personnel.
A provincial news medium in Zamfara reported Sarki’s conversation with journalists at the police headquarters in Gusau on Saturday.
“Although, we were separated when they kidnapped us, they took my brother to another camp. But Kachalla, one of the commanders of the bandits, told me about the death of my brother as a result of heart attack a few hours to our rescue,” Sarki was quoted as saying.
An aide to the speaker, who, however, craved anonymity, disclosed that the speaker had feared the worst after Turji rejected the ransom.
“But we didn’t think that Alhaji was dead by then. I spoke to some of our people who were in contact with the bandits negotiating the release and they told me we needed to intensify prayers. I think he was already dead by then,” the speaker’s aide lamented.