SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 11 – Bandits holed up in the Ruga forest Tuesday night released 10 women and a baby to Katsina State government.
This brings to 16 the total number of kidnap victims, who have so far regained their freedom from their abductors as part of the swap agreements reached between the bandits and Katsina state government in the ongoing dialogue
A statement by the Director General Media to the Governor, Labaran Malumfashi, said the freed women and baby were looked very haggard, jaded, sickly and hungry.
They were brought to the office of Governor Aminu Masari by two representatives of the bandits around 5.30 pm.
The statement added: ’’The successful exchange of detainees between the government and the bandits, represents a fundamental milestone in the efforts by Governor Masari and his colleagues from the North West, notably Governors Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state and Mohammed Bello Matawallin of Zamfara, to bring to a permanent end the menace of banditry, kidnapping and cattle rusting, all of which have of late assumed a frightening dimension in Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states.
‘’The release of the 10 women and the baby, the second time in the day, has also demonstrated the sincerity of purpose by the two sides of the engagement, thus giving short thrift to the skeptics who didn’t believe that the arrangement would work.’’
Masari reaffirmed the commitment of his government to walk the talk through the negotiations with the bandits, urging the outlaws to also keep faith with their own part of the bargain.
He said: ’’As soon as the exchange of detainees is done with, the 2nd and 3rd phases of the engagement will commence and focus on the voluntary surrender and return of arms and ammunitions to the government by the repentant bandits.”
Those released victims, who are all but two from Shifida village in Jibiya Local government, include: Sa’adatu Garba, Dije Abdulmini, Dahara A. Garba, Salame Abu Musa, Rabi’atu Muazu, Shamsiyya Sabi’u from Fafara, Halima Hambali, Barira Adamu from Garin Mai muya, Manya A. Sani and Maryam Sani