- After spending about a week in the kidnappers' den, the 53 passengers abducted in Minna have been released
- The kidnap victims upon their release were taken to Minna to meet with the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello
- Interacting with the released passengers, Governor Bello said efforts are still ongoing to rescue the abducted students of Government Science College, Kagara
All the 53 passengers abducted in Niger state about a week ago have met with Governor Abubakar Sani Bello at the Government House in Minna, the Niger state capital.
The Niger state government had earlier announced on Sunday, February 21, that it had secured the release of all the passengers who were abducted from a bus belonging to the Niger State Transit Authority (NSTA).
Legit.ng reports that Governor Bello announced this via his official Twitter handle late evening on Sunday.
The governor noted that the NSTA passengers were abducted while returning to Minna along the Minna-Zungeru road.
Addressing the media after meeting with the released victims, Governor Bello said the state government is working hard to ensure the release of the students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, who were kidnapped on Wednesday, February 17.
Meanwhile, a prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, had previously said that the kidnapped Kagara students and others might be released today, Sunday, February 21.
Speaking on Saturday, February 20, Gumi had said there was a possibility that the abductees might regain freedom on Sunday, given ongoing talks between the government and the bandits.
Gumi noted that the negotiation for the release of the students and members of staff was slowed down due to logistics, adding that the negotiation does not involve payment of ransom.
In other news, Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education, has alleged that there is a “strange incestuous relationship between government and abductors.”
Ezekwesili who wrote on Twitter on Friday, February 19, said the relationship had enabled the industry of abduction to flourish.
The ex-minister lamented that the friendship with abductors is being thrown in the face of citizens by those in authority. She further described the friendship as shameful.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_