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Nigeria’s Zamfara State Denies Paying Ransom For 26 Abducted Girls

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The government of Zamfara State in Nigeria has denied it paid a ransom to secure the release of 26 girls kidnapped from Faskari local government area of Katsina State.

Zamfara Governor, Mr. Bello Matawalle, who spoke at a media briefing through his Special Adviser on Media, Zailani Bappa, said the release of the girl was made possible “through peace initiative of the state government”.

He said, “Right from the negotiation with the bandits who held the captives in Zamfara bushes to the time they were unconditionally released, the government of Zamfara felt it was saving the lives of Nigerians and not minding where they hailed from.

“Fortunately some parents of the victims who were not happy with the information that N6.6 million was collected from them for the release of the girls are here to tell the press the truth,’’

One of the victims’ parents who drove to Gusau along with seven of the girls to speak on the matter, Mallam Abdulkarim Musa said “we do not even know the man who addressed the press in Katsina on Monday claiming to be our village head and that we raised such a huge amount for the release of our children.

“We shall ever remain grateful to the Bello Matawalle-led administration in Zamfara for saving our children over whom we had even lost hope after they were kidnapped from our village, Dan-Aji in Katsina State.

“The gunmen killed people and burnt houses and properties when they invaded our village and took away the girls about 10 days ago, but thank God that they have all been saved now.’’

Gov. Matawalle announced rescuing the girls unconditionally from bandits last Friday.

He subsequently directed the Zamfara Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran to take and hand them over to the governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Masari.

Thereafter, social media platforms were awash with claims that the victims were not rescued by Zamfara government which compelled the government to arrange Tuesday’s media briefing on the matter.

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Money Transfer; CBN Changes Rule on Remittance

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has changed its remittance rule. And now, Nigerians can receive money in the currency it was sent in. Janet Ogunkoya, a financial analyst joined us on News central Now to explain the benefit of the new development.

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Champions League: 6 African Youngsters Feature As RB Salzburg Defeat Lokomotiv Moscow

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It was a celebration of African football talents as Red Bull Salzburg took Russian Premier League club Lokomotiv Moscow to the cleaners on Tuesday.

The Austrian giants ran out 3-1 winners away from home against a hapless Lokomotiv Moscow side with one of the six Africans involved, Nigerian-German teenager, Karim Adeyemi getting on the scoresheet.

Salzburg in the game, featured Zambian 22-year old winger Enoch Mwepu, 20-year old Malian midfielder, Mohammed Kamara and his 21-year old compatriot, Sekou Koita.

Others were 22-year old Cameroonian Jerome Onguene, Patson Daka, a 22-year old Zambian international and 18-year old goalscorer Adeyemi.

Salzburg went into the game sure of their non-progression from the group stage after Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid sealed their places in the knockout stage.

The Austrian giants however needed the win to boost their chances of finishing in third place and earning a berth in the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Another that didn’t get to feature in the game was 22-year old Ghanaian midfielder, Majid Ashimeru.

Red Bull Salzburg are Austria’s biggest team and one with a rich talent pool. It has helped the rise of African talents in the past with some of them being Liverpool duo of Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara, Moussa Diakité and a host of others.

The team has a solid recruitment system in Mali and Senegal and has recently snapped up Zambians. Salzburg also has 18-year old Nigerian youngster, Tijani Kazeem who has been loaned out to Hartsberg, a club in the Austrian top flight.

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World Aids Day; Ending HIV/AIDS Epidemic 2

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Dr Talabi Odunayo, and MD, Prettyhealth Care Ltd joined us on News Central Now as the world commemorates World Aids Day with the theme “Global solidarity, resilient services”.

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