KANO – Hundreds of civilians abducted in early June by armed men in the village of Manawa in northwestern Nigeria have regained their freedom after 42 days in prison, Zamfara state officials said on Tuesday.
According to the Zamfara State Police statement, “On June 8, 2021, bandits attacked the village of Manawa and abducted 100 villagers, including women, mostly young mothers, men and children.”
“The victims, who were held by their captors for about a month and a half, were released without any ransom,” the statement said, which does not specify how the release took place.
Northwest Nigeria has for many years been the scene of the activities of criminal gangs that attack, rob and kidnap villagers, steal their livestock and burn down their homes.
The military has recently deployed new military reinforcements, including fighter jets, to the region to end the violence of “bandits” who in recent months have been converted into mass kidnappings of schoolchildren or high school children for ransom has gone. .
The criminals are known to take refuge in the wooded areas of the Ragu Forest, which are spread across the states of Niger, Katsina, Kaduna and Zamfara.
Zamfara officers are used to discussing amnesty agreements with criminal groups with whom they have been negotiating for more than a year in exchange for handing over their weapons.
It was Zamfra state officials who last December negotiated the release of 344 boys who were kidnapped by bandits from their boarding school in the neighboring state of Katsina.
With each release, the authorities refuse to pay a ransom to the kidnappers. However, this is no doubt for security experts, who fear that this will lead to an increase in kidnapping incidents in areas with extreme poverty and where security is scant.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general in power since 2015, is facing increasing criticism for his inability to provide security in Africa’s most populous country beset by unrest.