Passengers of the Niger State Transport Authority who were kidnapped by terrorists on February 14th 2021 in Rijau local government area of the state have recounted a terrifying experience in the hands of the terrorists.
The commuters were released by their abductors following what the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello described as “ dialogue and hardwork.”
The kidnap victims said they were forced to trek long distances inside the bush amid beating and starvation. Hamza Mohammed, one of the victims told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they were only given a bottle of dirty water meant for cattle the whole day describing the experience as “terrible.”
“The first day, we rested on a mountain and anyone who attempts to sleep will be flogged,” he said.
Mohammed Ndagi, another victim remembered that their vehicle was intercepted about 2:30pm after which the terrorists led them into the bush.
“The bandits only carried women and children on their motorcycle to a particular destination. When we trekked to where the women were kept, it was already night, they cook spaghetti and poured on our hands to eat. We were cooking for ourselves and they kept beating us on daily basis and as we moved, we kept seeing more of the bandits,” Ndagi said.
He also recounted that the terrorists kept beating and threatening to kill them unless they can provide money.
Another victim, Jummai Isah, said the bandits used their motorcycles to convey women and children and did not allow them to trek.
“We had little or no food to eat, they usually give us little food to cook and eat. They beat the men and spared the women and children, they only started beating women three days before we were released. They started beating us and shooting in the air because they said our people refused to give them money,” Jumai said.
However, on the day of their release, Mohammed said the terrorist’s attitude changed and they asked for forgiveness, begging them to pray for their repentance.
While addressing the victims before handing them to their families, Gov. Sani-Bello , represented by his Chief of Staff advised them to see their abduction as one of the issues of life and commended the people of the state for their prayers and support.