Bandits release 15 more kidnapped victims in Katsina State
Bandits have released another set of 15 people kidnapped from Katsina as part of their peace deal with the state government.The captives were in custody for 44 days around Dansadau Forest in Zamfara State.Those that regained freedom include 13 women, a one-year-old and a day-old kid.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 30 abducted victims were earlier released as part of the truce.The Governor Aminu Masari administration initiated the dialogue with the hoodlums to end the sustained attacks on communities in eight council areas of the state.
A statement by the Director General on Media, Abdu Labaran, said the victims were handed over to the governor yesterday by the Transition Committee Chairman of Jibia Local Council, Alhaji Haruna Musa, in Katsina. Labaran said: “The victims claimed to be ill treated by the bandits.
“According to the released captives, their captors did not only keep on threatening to kill them for the failure of their relatives to pay the ransoms demanded by the bandits, but also shot guns in the air consistently with a view to scaring and intimidating them.”Narrating her ordeal, the mother of the day-old-baby, Murja, said that they were kept in a camp which initially contained 150 captives, but gradually shrunk to only 13 of them.
She said that they never believed they would come out as their abductors were always in a nasty mood, threatening to kill them since their relatives have failed to pay for their release.
According to the statement, the governor declared that the 15 victims were the last of those known to be in captivity anywhere.Masari said that now that all the kidnapped victims from the state had been released, “the next phase of sustaining the peace in Katsina is the surrender of arms and ammunitions by the bandits, and their rehabilitation and integration.”His words: “The last phase will involve further provision of amenities like schools, clinics, roads, water points for human and animal consumption as well as re-demarcation of cattle routes, encroached by some farmers and converted into farm lands.”
The statement added that the government would meet with officials of Zamfara and their counterparts in neighbouring state of Maradi in Niger Republic at the weekend to discuss on how to sustain the peace process.
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