26 young girls who were kidnapped by bandits in Katsina State and taken to a hideout in bush in Zamfara State, have been released following the intervention of the state governor, Bello Matawalle.
In a statement released by Zailani Bappa, the Special Adviser to Governor Matawalle on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, the girls, aged between 8 and 12, were reportedly released to the state government without the payment of ransom.
The statement reads:
“The girls who were kidnapped by bandits in Faskari local government area of Katsina State, were brought into the bushes of Zamfara but were miraculously discovered by the state government.
They were released through negotiations held by the state Commissioner of Police and the state Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, who have been in constant dialogue on behalf of the government with bandits in the state on the need to embrace peace and live a normal life.”
Gov. Matawalle who received the rescued girls in his office, said his administration will not abandon peaceful dialogue with the bandits with a view to finding a lasting solution to problems of banditry in the state.
He added that only a peaceful dialogue would be employed as the use of force will be counter productive.
“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 concluded