Kagara students still with bandits ― Niger governor

•Receives 53 persons abducted in NSTA bus by bandits

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has said the abducted students of Government Science College Kagara were still with the bandits. He said this when, at about 11:15 pm on Sunday, he received some 53 persons abducted by bandits. The persons included some underaged children, young boys, women and few old men. They were received at the main hall of the Government House, Minna where the governor’s cabinet members and journalists were also awaiting them.

The kidnapped victims who were brought in three 18-seater Toyota Hiace buses looked exhausted, malnourished, and were struggling to walk while some of the nursing mother’s held tightly to their little children as they came out one after the other. They were ushered into the hall amidst very tight security involving the police and Civil Defence personnel.

Receiving the victims, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said, “Thank God we have in our midst some 53 abductees of the NSTA bus who have been in the captives of a tremendous trauma as you can see that they are all seated here inside the hall about 53 people in number.

Speaking further, the governor said that “they were definitely looking exhausted and malnourished and very dirty,” adding that “at the end of the day we are grateful to God Almighty for guiding us, for protecting them and for showing us the grace to secure their release.”

He disclosed that the state government went through one week of dialogue, consultation, hard work and sleepless nights in order to secure their release, stressing that “because we have had to ensure that we ensured that we secured  their release within the shortest possible time.”

The governor, however, explained to the gathering that “we still have the students of Science  Secondary School, Kagara in the hands of the captives” assuring that everything was being done to ensure their release soonest.

He thereby thanked everyone at this moment that had played one role or the other in their efforts for the release of the 53 persons whose release were secured on Sunday, while thanking their loved ones for the understanding that they have shown in this trying moment for the state and its people.

The visibly very happy governor said, “We have made all necessary arrangements to ensure that they go through a very thorough medical therapy and evaluation,” adding that once that was done the government can safely hand them over to their loved ones.

Accordingly, he said “It is my prayers that Allah (SWT) guide and protect us. And as you can see they are very tired and I don’t think we should waste much time” noting that the sooner the victims get to their hotels and hospitals, “the better for all of us”.

He thereby thanked everyone present at the occasion for their support. The abductees were led out of the hall into the vehicles that brought them into Government House Minna after they were treated to sumptuous meals prepared by the government.

Meanwhile, one of the relations of the victims, Alhaji Abubakar Abdulkadri, who disclosed that 19 of his relations were among the abducted victims who regained their freedom on Sunday expressed gratitude to God for His protection over the victims. He also thanked the state government on behalf of other families whose relations were released on Sunday.

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