Niger abduction: Bandits beat us, begged for forgiveness – Victims

The passengers of the Niger State Transport Authority abducted by bandits recently have recounted their ordeal.

52 individuals were kidnapped in Kundu village of Rijau Local Government Area on February 14, while returning to Minna.

Some of them told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Monday that they were beaten, starved and made to trek.

Mohammed Ndagi, a civil servant with the State Science and Technical Board, said their vehicle was shot at and stopped by the bandits at about 2:30 p.m.

He narrated how their captors ordered them out and led them into the bush where they trekked day and night.

“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 cooked spaghetti and poured on our hands to eat. We were cooking for ourselves, they beat us on a daily basis. We kept seeing more of the bandits as we moved,” Ndagi said.

Ndagi disclosed that a particular bandit kept beating them with sticks and threatened them to produce money or risk being killed.

Another victim, Hamza Mohammed recalled that ten people were given one bottle of dirty water used in feeding cattle.

“The first day, we rested on a mountain and anyone who attempts to sleep will be flogged.”

He revealed that on the day of release, the bandits asked for forgiveness and requested prayers for them to change their ways.

In his recount, Hajiya Jummai Isah said they didn’t bathe or brush teeth for one week, and relied on little food.

She disclosed that the bandits used their motorcycles to convey women and children.

“They gave us little food to cook and eat. They beat the men and spare women and children; they only started beating women three days before we were released.

“They started beating us and shooting on the air because they said our people refused to give them money,” Isah said.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello appealed to victims to be calm and go about their normal businesses.

Bello, represented by his Chief of Staff, approved stipends for transport back to their families.

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