Barrister Hauwa Abdulsalam, one of the 53 passengers of the Niger State Transit Authority (NSTA) that was kidnapped along the Zungeru-Minna road on February 14, has narrated her ordeal with the bandits.
Speaking to Channels Television on Monday, Abdulsalam said the bandits threatened to kill all of the captives, noting that they were heavily armed.
While identifying the leader of the bandits to be one Katalla Alli, the legal practitioner said during the seven-day period they were held captive, they only had access to dirty water from the river.
“They cannot be described, they are armed. They are heartless, fearless and said they were going to kill us,” she said when asked to describe her captors.
“And they mean it, I swear they mean it. It was yesterday that they gave the deadline, from yesterday they would start killing the men and today, they would kill the women. The leader swore and he meant it, he said is name is Katalla Alli.”
According to her, the leader of the group complained about the government, adding that thy (the bandits) were given several promises during the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
When asked what the promises were, Abdulsalam said the bandits’ leader told her shelter, hospital, good education and put them on a monthly payroll.
She noted that when the 2015 general elections came and went, the government reneged on its earlier promise, thus forcing them to indulge in banditry.
“They were just complaining about the government that the government promised them something during the election.
“They didn’t fulfil it, that was what prompted them to be into this banditry of a thing and kidnapping. They were telling us that if the government can fulfil their promise.
“The government promised to give them shelter, good education, they will pay some of them salaries, farms and everything, but the government refused,” she added.
Meanwhile, all the 53 passengers abducted by bandits from have now been reunited with their families one week after their abduction.
They arrived at the Niger State Government House in Minna on Sunday night and were received by Governor Abubakar Bello and other top government officials.
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