No fewer than 104 people kidnapped by bandits in Katsina State have been rescued, the government said on Thursday.
The state governor, Aminu Masari, explained that the government achieved this in collaboration with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies in the state.
He made the remark shortly after he received a batch of 77 rescued persons escorted to the Katsina Government House by the heavily armed security operatives.
Governor Masari noted that out of the 104 people rescued, 16 came from Sabuwa, Faskari and Dandume areas, 10 were from Danmusa, and the remaining 77 people came from Batsari and Jibia.
He stated that their rescue was in continuation of an exercise which started with the recovery of the recently abducted 344 students of the Government Science Secondary School in Ƙankara.
“We saw an opener and we are working with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in cooperation with the police, the army, the DSS, the air force, and other security agencies to bring back as many of the kidnapped victims as possible.
“The process is ongoing, we are doing this as quietly as we can to make sure that nobody is harmed and further kidnapping is stopped,” the governor said.
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Katsina, Sanusi Buba, told reporters that one of the procedures involved in the rescue operation was that the bandits themselves testified that they wanted peace in their domain and made several appeals.
He 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 to be limited to Katsina State but will go beyond all other vulnerable states.”
One of the rescued victims, Ado Umaru, told our correspondent that he was kidnapped by bandits along with his three male children at Wagini village in Batsari Local Government Area of the state.
The 70-year-old man narrated his ordeal in the hands of his abductors, saying he and his children spent almost two weeks in captivity.
“We spent 13 days in the custody of the bandits and they only offered us raw sweet potato in the morning for breakfast and then in the evening, they give us porridge.
“At times, they beat us, and some other times, they let us be after they were advised to leave us with our predicaments,” Umaru said.