Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello Sunday night received 53 abducted travellers who were just released by bandits who kidnapped them.
The victims were received by the governor and his cabinet members at the Government House, Minna, the state capital.
The persons who arrived in three 18-seater Toyota Hiace buses included some underaged children, young boys, women and few old men.
Receiving the victims, Governor Bello said, “Thank God we have in our midst some 53 abductees of the NSTA bus who have been in the captives of a tremendous trauma as you can see that they are all seated here inside the hall about 53 people in number.
Bello noted that “they were definitely looking exhausted and malnourished and very dirty,” adding that “at the end of the day we are grateful to God Almighty for guiding us, for protecting them and for showing us the grace to secure their release.”
He explained that the state government went through one week of dialogue, consultation, hard work and sleepless nights in order to secure their release.
“We have made all necessary arrangements to ensure that they go through a very thorough medical therapy and evaluation,” an elated Bello said, adding that once that was done the government can safely hand them over to their loved ones.
The governor however said the students of Government Science College, Kagara are still in the hands of their captives assuring that everything was being done to ensure their release soonest.
Recall that the victims were ambushed on February 14 along the Tegina-Zungeru highway in Rafi Local Government Area of the state.
They were travelling in a bus of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) when they ran into an ambush by the bandits.
No fewer than 42 persons including 27 students of Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi LGA were abducted days later.