ONE of the 24 kidnap victims in Zamfara State recently rescued by security operatives after spending 60 days in captivity has narrated their ordeals at the hands of their captors.
The victim, a final year student of the Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda, spoke with Saturday Tribune at the headquarters of the state police command in Gusua, on condition of anonymity.
According to him, he and the other captors were about to be executed when police operatives stormed the forest where they were being held and prevented their imminent death.
He stated that the decision of the bandits to execute them followed their inability to contact the families of the kidnap victims to make ransom demands due to the unavailability of mobile phone services in the state at that time.
“So, they decided to kill us but the police operatives arrived just in time and rescued. They came the day they planned to kill us. To God be the glory.”
The man said: “Our captors starved us of food. They fed us raw corns. We drank water only once in three days. They used our clothes to tie us. It was very uncomfortable for us in the kidnappers’ den inside the forest.
“When the security operatives stormed the forest unexpectedly, the bandits fled and abandoned us. Then we untied one another, raised our hands and moved towards the security operatives who gave us cover from possible enemy fire and rescued us.”
The state police command said the rescue was carried out by a tactical team of operatives who were deployed in various locations across the state.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Ayuba Elkanah, said the successful rescue of the 24 kidnap victims in Shinkafi and Tsafe local government areas was made possible with the support of the state government.
Elkanah said: “Among them 9the kidnap victims) were four students of Government Day Secondary School, Birnin Yero, in Shinkafi Local Government Area, who were abducted while writing their WAEC examinations and one student of the Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda.”
According to the commissioner, the police operatives deployed in the Shinkafi axis rescued the secondary school students alongside eight other victims, acting on intelligence. “The victims who spent 60 days in captivity have now been rescued. All the rescued victims were medically checked. They underwent police debriefing before we handed them over to the state government and they were reunited with their families,” he stated.
He said further that the fleeing bandits had intercepted two Golf vehicles with registration numbers AE 535 ARG and GUS 274 XF travelling from Kano to Sokoto in Wanzamai village and abducted all the passengers.
He said that upon receipt of a distress call regarding the incident, police operatives deployed on GusauTsafe-Funtua Road promptly embarked on an extensive search-and-rescue operation and finally succeeded in rescuing 11 of the abducted passengers.
“Let me use this opportunity to warn members of the public, especially travellers and commercial drivers, that the order of the state government restricting movement into the state at night is still in force.
“Therefore, the command on my watch will intensify the arrest and prosecution of any person or group of persons found violating this order,” he noted.
The commissioner gave the assurance that the police and other security agencies would stop at nothing to secure the release of all kidnap victims in the state. He appealed to the general public to assist the security agencies with information that could lead to the stamping out of banditry in the state.