Repentant bandits in Katsina State have released an additional set of 30 kidnapped victims. The development comes in the wake of dialogue initiated by the state government with their leaders.
The victims were presented to Gov. Aminu Masari at the Government House on Sunday in Katsina.
Meanwhile, the victims were kidnapped by the repentant bandits from Kankara and Shimfida, both in Jibia Local Government area of Katsina. Subsequently, they were taken to their hideout in Damsadau forest, Zamfara State, where they spent some weeks.
Masari noted that the government would continue to persuade the repentant bandits to release more kidnapped people until all were freed. Further, he directed that the released victims be taken to hospital for medical check-up before reuniting them with their respective families.
One of victims, Zinatu Sani from Kankara, narrated her ordeal in the hands of the bandits. She disclosed that she was kidnapped from her matrimonial home, with two of her children.
Victims says many more captives with repentant bandits
Zinatu revealed that the bandits demanded a N20 million ransom before they could release her and the children. However, she explained that the ransom was later reduced to N6 million. But her family could still not afford to pay.
She added that the suspected bandits used to give them rice to cook, with only water and salt.
“For 55 days, we slept in an open place without a roof, not minding the rainfall or heat,” she lamented.
She expressed appreciation to the governor for securing their release. Furthermore, she confirmed that there were still several other victims in the forest held captive by the bandits.
The returnees were handed over to the Transition Committee Chairmen of Kankara and Jibia local government councils. The chairmen were to ensure that they were reunited with their families after medical check-up.