A reconciliation and peace process jointly initiated by the Zamfara State government and the state police command has produced results with a total of 40 kidnapped victims released by their captors between Thursday and yesterday.
Governor Bello Matawalle had upon assumption of office in May extended an amnesty offer to bandits in the state to surrender their weapons and embrace peace.
The police in the state also followed the pledge by asking all repentant bandits who had innocent persons in their captivity to release them in furtherance of the peace treaty.
This led to the rescue of 25 persons of Fulani extract comprising men, women and children who were initially held by volunteer vigilante groups on Thursday.
The 25 victims had been in the hands of their captors in Dansadau Emirate of Maru local government area of the state since April 9 this year.
This development was closely followed by another rescue of 15 other persons made up of 13 males and two females by the police from the bandits operating in the bushes of Shinkafi local government area of the state.
Both rescues were confirmed to journalists in the state by the police public relations officer, Mr. Mohammed Shehu.
He said: “Today being 5th of July, 2019, the commissioner of police, Zamfara state Command, CP Usman Nagogo, once again perfected the release 15 kidnapped victims from the hands of armed bandits in Shinkafi LGA.
“It would be recalled that yesterday 25 Fulani abducted by YANSAKAI volunteer group since on the 9th of April, 2019 were successfully released to the commissioner of police who later handed them over to the state governor,” he stated.
In his response to the development, the national chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammed Kiruwa, applauded the efforts of the state government and the Nigeria Police for the initiative and expressed confidence that all the kidnapped victims under the captivity of the bandits would soon be released to the government in order to reunite them with their relations.
While receiving the victims from the commissioner of police, Governor Bello Matawalle commended the commissioner for his dedication and total commitment towards ensuring peace in Zamfara State.
He described the release of the kidnapped persons to him as a sign that the peace process was succeeding and urged for continued support and prayers from the people of the state.
The governor who directed the Government House Clinic to check the medical statuses of the victims said that the state government would organise a ceremony that would bring the Fulani, the volunteer vigilante members and other people to witness the handing over of the victims to their respective families to further demonstrate that the peace process was working.
One of the rescued victims, Haruna Na-Hantsi is a national from the neighbouring state of Maradi in Niger Republic.
Similarly, another victim, Ibrahim Mohammed Moriki, a community health worker attached to the Kuturu Primary Healthcare Centre said that he was kidnapped by the bandits over 20 days ago while some of those rescued along with him had spent more than 2 months in the hands of the bandits before he joined them.
He informed the governor that they were released from a village called Kagara under Isa local government area of Sokoto State before they were brought to Government House, Gusau.
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