Kidnapped Zamfara Students Regain Freedom

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The 75 pupils of Government Day Secondary School, Kaya, in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State who were abducted on September 1, 2021, have regained their freedom after about two weeks in captivity. The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) broke the news on its verified Facebook, wherein it was revealed in the post that gunmen abducted more than 70 students in the country’s northwest state of Zamfara. It is not yet clear if any ransom was paid before the pupils were released, as details of the release remain sketchy. Zamfara State Police spokesman, Mohammed Shehu, had said in a statement that a large group of attackers stormed the Government Day Secondary School in the remote village of Kaya that Wednesday morning, seizing the pupils. He had given the number of seized children as 73. “The abduction followed the invasion of the school by large numbers of armed bandits,” he had stated.

Shehu said that Police rescue teams were working with the military to secure the release of the pupils.

Five of the pupils managed to escape their captors within 24 hours.

Bandits operating in Zamfara and environs have been finding it difficult to communicate with their informants or get things from some local markets, owing to the shutdown of telecommunication networks in the state.

Last week, Governor Bello Matawalle said the state government is no longer interested in holding a dialogue with bandits.

He said security forces would flush them out of the state.

“My administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits as they have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them,’’ the governor had said in his address to some residents.

He urged residents to be patient and to support new security measures put in place to flush out bandits and their collaborators to restore peace in the state.