21 passengers kidnapped by what appeared to be an ambush targeted at the Niger State Governor’s Chief of Staff (CoS), Mallam Ibrahim Balarabe, last Sunday, have been released a week after, the state government has announced.
Everyday.ng reports that most of the passengers were part of guests returning from a wedding ceremony in Rijau, Rijau Local Government Area (LGA).
Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, confirmed the releasevia Twitter on Sunday.
“We are pleased to announce to the general public the release of the NSTA passengers abducted a week ago while returning to Minna along the Minna-Zungeru road,” he tweeted.
The Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) bus that appeared at a road block believed to have been put in place for Balarabe was stopped at Gundu village near Zungeru, its passengers, except a woman and her baby, were herded into the forest.
Balarabe’s convoy arrived to the sorry state of the woman, her baby, and an empty bus; picked up the woman; and is believed to have scrambled a security response to the unfortunate incident.
The CoS was on his way from Kagara, his hometown in Rafi LGA, where he had gone early Sunday morning to participate in the All Progressive Congress (APC) revalidation and registration exercise.
Two days later, 41 students, teachers and members of their families of the Government Science College, Kagara were abducted by bandits in a night attack. One student, Benjamin Doma Habila, was shot dead by the gunmen, as he made to escape.
21 hours later, another set of about 15 persons of Gurmana ward of Shiroro LGA were abducted after gunmen raided at least four communities.
It was thought the students of Kagara were released last Thursday by the bandits after they met with peace envoy Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, however the state government said no such thing took place; expressing hope that it would happen soon.
Stakeholders have waited with bated breath until Sunday’s release of the passengers, who actually were abducted first.