By Francis Sardauna
The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has revealed that the state government has so far received 304 kidnapped victims from bandits’ captivity.
The governor disclosed this on Thursday evening when he received another batch of 77 abducted victims, mostly women and children, including a sergeant with the Nigerian Army from security operatives at the Government House.
Masari noted that the rescue of the captives was in continuation of an exercise that started with the recovery of the recently abducted 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara.
He said: “With this 77 number, we have so far received 304 of the kidnapped victims and the process is still ongoing. We are doing this as quietly as we can to make sure that nobody is harmed and further kidnapping is stopped.”
The governor explained that the victims were rescued by the state government in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Department of State Services and other security agencies in the state.
Masari affirmed that the “unconditional” release of the kidnapped victims, who hail from Batsari, Faskari, Dandume, Sabuwa, Dan-Musa and other local government areas of the state, followed his administration’s quest and relentless efforts of security operatives to restore peace in the state.
Presenting the freed captives to Governor Masari, the state Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Buba, said many of the bandits are now repenting from their criminal ways and seeking for peace in their enclaves.
He said the Inspector General of Police (IG), Muhammad Adamu, decided to put machinery in place to reach out to the bandits to testify whether or not they stick to their words by asking them to release those that have been in their captivity which they have demonstrated.
The police chief said: “This process has been on for some days. We are making efforts to ensure that all those that are still in captivity are safely rescued without the payment of any ransom or hindrance.
“We hope and pray that this method will not only be limited to Katsina State but will go beyond all other vulnerable states.”
Meanwhile, the 77 victims freed on Thursday are expected to undergo medical checks at the state government’s facility after which they will be reunited with their families.