By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
All the victims of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) bus abducted eight days earlier along the Kundu – Garin Gabas – Zungeru road have regained their freedom.
A government statement late Sunday evening said all the passengers were released to the state government by the armed bandits.
Though no information was forth coming on whether ransom was paid before the victims were released, the government statement confirmed that fifty three persons onboard the bus who were kidnapped by the bandits had been released.
The kidnapped victims were brought to the Government House Minna in buses where the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello received them.
The statement said the release of the 53 persons followed series of dialogues, consultations and painstaking discussion between the bandits, government officials and the mediators.
All the released victims are being prepared togo through medical checkups and evaluation before they would be reunited with their families and loved ones.
The statement said dialogues for the release of the victims took one whole week, adding that the process were really difficult but acknowledged that the dialogue, consultations, hard work and sleepless nights were fruitful.
The statement expressed gratitude to all the persons who played various roles in the release of the victims.
“We are grateful to God Almighty for guiding us, for protecting the victims, for showing us the way to secure their release. I will like to thank everyone that has played a role in this effort and also thank the families of the victims for the understanding they have shown in this trying moment”, the statement said.
Twenty of the kidnapped victims were women. Nine were children while twenty four were men.
The government statement said efforts were still ongoing to secure the release of the victims of the Government Science Secondary School, Kagara who were abducted last Wednesday.