A criminal gang leader in Nigeria has turned himself in, as part of a controversial amnesty deal.
Zamfara state officials say Awwalun Daudawa surrendered with four of his group members, renounced violence and handed over 20 rifles.
The state’s security head, Abubakar Muhammad Dauran, told the BBC that Mr Daudawa was the “mastermind” behind the abduction of more than 300 boys from a remote school in Kankara town, in neighbouring Katsina state in December. The boys were later released in a town in Zamfara state, following negotiations.
But the state of Katsina, where the boys were seized, has not commented.
Mr Daudawa has not commented on any of the accusations.
“I am a changed person now and my plan is to go back to school and become a normal person,” the 42-year-old said, holding a copy of the Koran.
Mr Dauran told the BBC that Mr Daudawa and his four associates were “repentant bandits” who’ve shown remorse.
Some say such amnesty and reconciliation initiatives favour perpetrators of violence. But the authorities in Zamafara state say more than 80 kidnappers have handed themselves in since 2019.
Separately, the police in Zamfara state have arrested an ex-council chairman, Haruna Musa Mota, for alleged “involvement in acts of terror”. He has not commented.