By Ismail Auwal
Zamfara state government has confirmed the release of 26 abducted Katsina state girls by kidnappers in the state.
The girls, kidnapped by bandits in Faskari local government of Katsina State, were brought into the bushes of Zamfara State but were miraculously discovered by the state government and got released through negotiations held under the state Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran.
Governor Matawalle who confirmed the development on his official Twitter handle on Monday, however, urged the Federal Government to financially support the state in the fight against the insecurity.
“After spending one week in captivity, the rescued girls are on their to reunite with their parents after proper handover with the officials of Katsina state government,” he said on his official Twitter handle.
The governor pledged to continue to commit to “our dual kinetic and non-kinetic approaches for dealing with armed banditry bedevilling the Northwestern region of Nigeria. In spite of the myriads of socioeconomic challenges we inherited in Zamfara state”.
According to sources, the girls will be reunited with their parents after medical professionals have ascertained their physical and mental fitness.
Although Zamfara State Government said ransom has not been paid to secure the release of the girls, Northern Nigeria has seen an upsurge in kidnapping for ransom by criminal gangs, especially along the 180-kilometer (110-mile) highway linking the city with the nation’s capital Abuja where motorists are seized at gunpoint and only released after ransom payments.