Auwalun Daudawa, the man identified as the gang leader behind the kidnapping of hundreds of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina state has surrendered to authorities in an amnesty deal.

Auwalun Daudawa was said to have led dozens of gunmen who snatched students from their school hostels in the town of Kankara in a crime that sparked global outrage and highlighted growing instability in the country.

The abductions happened when President Muhammadu Buhari was visiting his home state of Katsina.

Some students managed to escape and officials said around 340 were freed days later after negotiations.

In a statement, the spokesman of the local government Malam Zailani Bappa said Daudawa had surrendered to local officials on Monday with six of his gang members.

“In a brief ceremony at the premises of the Governor’s office, Auwalun Daudawa handed over the weapons and also swore with the Holy Quran not to revert to his old ways,” Zailani Bappa said.

Daudawa and his comrades surrendered 20 Kalashnikovs and other weapons.

Northwest Nigeria has been terrorised by criminal gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle, kidnapping for ransom and burning homes after looting supplies.

The gangs also attack travellers at bogus checkpoints on the highway and abduct them. Hostages are usually released after ransom payment.

Most of the Kankara children were released after days in captivity following negotiations between the abductors and officials of Zamfara and Katsina states.