No fewer than 10 women including a 4-year-old
baby have been released by repentant bandits in Katsina State, an official
statement said on Wednesday.
The state government is currently engaged in dialogue with bandits terrorising the state in order to restore peace and normalcy to the affected areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the victims regained their freedom few hours after the government released seven bandits who were in detention.
A statement issued by Abdullahi Yar’adua, the Director Press in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the State, said those released were kidnapped two weeks ago from Shimfida village in Jibia local government area.
Governor Aminu Masari has in the last one week, been meeting with the bandits to broker agreement for lasting peace in the state.
Part of the agreement reached was for exchange of captives, of which five people abducted by the bandits were released on Tuesday followed by the release of seven bandits in government detention.
The LGAs suffering from the activities of bandits are Dandume, Sabuwa, Faskari, Kankara, Safana, Danmusa, Batsari and Jibiya.
The development comes about a month after President Muhammadu Buhari during his visit to Katsina State urged the military to treat those causing the insecurity in the state as bandits.
His spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu said the president was addressing 15 officers and 160 soldiers of the 17th Army Brigade and Nigerian Air Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, under the “Operation Hadarin Daji’’, at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Airport, Katsina.
The statement quoted President Buhari as saying, “This group was formed by the military to secure the geo-political zone from the activities of bandits. Fundamentally, it is your responsibility to secure the country.
“As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I believe you are capable of doing it.
“I don’t think you should spare any bandit. Identify and eliminate them. Pursue them anywhere you can find them and eliminate them.