The Kastina state government has rescued 31 victims of human trafficking who were sold to a slave merchant in Burkina Faso who bought them from a kidnap kin ping.
Mr. Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, the Director-General, Media and publicity to the state government said the victims are expected back to Kastina today, Tuesday.
Malumfashi added, the victims, seven of whom have been assisted to return to Nigeria by the Nigerian Embassy in Burkina Faso, have already arrived Katsina State.
Contrary to the claim been circulated in the news and social media, Labaran said “the 31 Katsina State citizens were not victims of kidnapping but tricked and sold into slavery by one Alhaji Usman from Kankara town, in Kankara local govt area, now at large to a lady in Benin Republic. The security agencies have lunch a manhunt against the villain.
Subsequently, “The Benin lady thereafter, took her ‘slaves’ to Gaoua, a town 150 kilometres from Ouagadougou, the Burkina Faso capital, where she kept them in servitude without food or money. The lady has been apprehended by the local authorities in Gaoua” Mallumfashi said.
Meanwhile, the remaining 24 victims are due to arrive in Katsina, where Governor Aminu Bello Masari will receive them in the General Muhammadu Buhari House today.
The Director Media said their release to freedom was facilitated by the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Hajiya Rahmatu Ahmed, who contacted and informed the Katsina State government about the flight of the trafficked victims, currently under the care of the Chief of the Hausa community in Ouagadougou.
Governor Masari has since dispatched, Alhaji Hamza Brodo, the Special Adviser to the governor on Drugs, Narcotics, and Trafficking, with a 30-seater luxury bus to visit Ouagadougou and bring back the remaining 24 victims.