Following a successful dialogue with bandits in Zamfara State, Governor Bello Matawalle has secured the release of 26 teenage girls abducted in Katsina State.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the rescue of the girls brings the total number of released victims to 40 in the last one week.
The governor’s media aide, Zailani Bappa, in a statement on Sunday, said the girls who were between the ages of 8 and 12 got kidnapped in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State and brought into Zamfara forests.
According to him, after a series of negotiations between the bandits and the state Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran, the minors were released without any payment of ransom.
Receiving the girls at the State Government House, Mr Matawalle reiterated that his administration would not abandon dialogues with bandits, stressing that fire power alone could not solve the problem of banditry in the state.
He said: “This is a testimony to our vision for engaging the bandits in peaceful dialogue.
“For those who believe we are wrong to dialogue with the bandits, the securing of these minors who are all girls, unhurt, is indeed priceless.”
The statement noted that before Mr Matawalle’s order for the girls’ safe return to Katsina State, they were medically checked and provided with new clothes.