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Mr Bagudu Hirse, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who
was kidnapped in Kaduna last November, has said that his captors were
angry when they confirmed that he had only N20,000 in his account.
Hirse, who recanted his experience with the captors in an interview
with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Jos, said that
the captors confirmed the balance in his account when they checked his

"They went through my bank details and expressed deep disappointment
that a former minister and Ambassador had such a little sum in his
"That was when they started harassing my wife because they had earlier
asked for a ransom of N50 million.

"In fact, when they confirmed the figure, they started doubting if I
was the Bagudu Hirse, a former Nigeria envoy to Namibia," he said.
Hirse said that the kidnappers kept ordering his wife to bring the
money that her husband was hiding.

"My wife told them the truth about our financial status, but they were
not convinced," he said.
The former minister, however, confirmed that the captors were "paid
something in dollars", before he was eventually released.
He said that the captors told him that they were graduates who were
forced into kidnapping to survive because they were "jobless and
"One said that he graduated from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,
six years ago, and had remained without a job, while another said he
studied Chemical Engineering and had been jobless for five years," he
Hirse, who said he was "treated very well" by the kidnappers, said
that he maintained a cordial relationship with them throughout the
period of the captivity.
He advised government to create more jobs, and stressed the need to
concentrate on building the private sector.

"If the private sector is supported to be viable, there will be jobs
and most of these idle youths will be absorbed," he said.
NAN reports that eight suspects have been arrested in connection with
Hirse's ordeal.

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