Masari receives 15 kidnapped victims from bandits
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has received 15 kidnapped victims comprising of 13 women, a toddler and a baby released by their abductors, after spending 44 days in captivity.
The victims, it was gathered were taken to Forest in Dansadau area of Zamfara State.
This was contained in a statement issued to Tribune Online on Sunday and signed by the Director-General (Media and Publicity), Abdu Labaran Malumfashi,
The statement noted that the victims, including a two-day-old baby and a one-year-old, were brought to the Government House by the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Jibiya Local Government area, Alhaji Haruna Musa Mota at 1.30 am.
It said all the freed captives were from Mallamawa village in Jibiya local government area.
Recounting their harrowing experiences in the hands of their abductors, the 13 women, mostly teenagers, claimed to be ill-treated by the bandits who fed them with only half a ration of half-cooked and barely grounded corn gruel twice daily.
According to the released victims, their captors did not only keep on threatening to kill them for the failure of their relatives to pay the ransom demanded by the bandits, but also shot guns in their air constantly within close proximity to them with a view to scaring and intimidating them.
Murja, the mother of the one-day-old baby girl, said that they were kept in a camp which initially contained 150 captives but which gradually shrunk to only the 13 of them, who were the last to be released.
She claimed that they never believed they would regain freedom as their abductors were always in a nasty mood, telling them (captives) that they would shoot them since our relatives have failed to pay for their release.
After receiving the freed captives, elated Governor Masari disclosed that the 13 women plus the two infants were the last kidnappees from Katsina State known to be in captivity anywhere.
He said that since all the kidnapped victims from the state had been released, the next phase of sustaining the peace in Katsina is the surrendering of arms and ammunitions by the bandits, to be followed by their rehabilitation and integration.
The last phase, the Governor added, would involve the further provision of amenities like schools, clinics, roads, water points for human and animal use as well as re-demarcation of cattle routes, encroached by farmers and converted into farmland.
Added to these measures, would be regular engagements between officials of Katsina and Zamfara states with their counterparts from Maradi Region of the neighbouring Niger Republic, one of which is expected to take place at the end of the week on Katsina State, Governor Masari added.