Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Nigeria Police yesterday in Kano has formally handed over eight out of the nine rescued kids, who were forcefully abducted in the state and sold into slavery in Anambra State, to Kano State Government.
This was disclosed in a press statement made available to THISDAY in Kano by the Director-General, Media and Publicity, Ameen K. Yassar,
The statement explained that the ninth child was said to have taken ill and is currently receiving medication in a hospital in the state capital.
Receiving the liberated children at Africa House, Government House in Kano, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, described the discovery of the children as a divine act, noting that the police had demonstrated high capacity to deal with criminality.
“I must commend the Commissioner of Police and the Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad for rescuing these children. Since this incident happened, the police have appropriately managed the situation to the extent that no breach of the peace occurred anywhere.
“On this matter, specifically, the government of Kano State has been in constant contact with the security agencies because of the gravity of the situation and the need to make sure that situation does not degenerate to something else. We have vowed to protect lives and property of the people and the government is remaining resolute in that direction.
“In this connection, I want to appeal to parents of these rescued children to always watch their words and restrict themselves and the kids from unnecessary media exposure and dealings with non-governmental organisations, as some people may likely exploit the situation for selfish reasons,’’ Ganduje said.
According to him, the parents must understand “that investigation into the case of their children and similar cases are ongoing and their words and actions are capable of jeopardising the work of security agencies.”
He appealed to them to shun any action that would lead to social unrest.
He announced that the state government would unfold a special arrangement for the rescued kids during a special meeting with them and their families, at a date to be communicated to their parents.
Presenting the children to the governor, the Commander, Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Nigeria Police, Kano State Command, CSP Babagana Saje, explained that it was the reported kidnap of one child that led his men to promptly apprehend the suspects, leading to the discovery of a kidnapping racket in Kano and Onitsha.
“We have arrested some of the suspects including a man and his wife, who kidnapped children here and sold them off in Onitsha. They sold the children for about N200,000 to a lady in Onitsha who in turn sold them to her customers in Lagos. In fact, two of the children were found with her, as domestic servants,” he explained.
He added that the police found out that the kidnapped children were renamed and converted from Islam to Christianity to conceal their original identity and prevent them from being discovered.
“Parents of seven out of the nine have identified their children, following the necessary security procedures, but two are yet to be claimed. I, therefore, want to urge parents whose children have been kidnapped in Kano to please come forward and identify the remaining two kids in our custody.
“All the suspects in this case will be taken to court as soon as the police complete investigations,” he assured.
Speaking on behalf of the parents, Malam Muhammad Ali explained that his daughter, Aisha was abducted in 2016, adding that all the parents were overwhelmed with joy re-uniting with their kids and thanked the Nigeria Police for doing a wonderful job.