Dozens of school children who were kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria’s northwest Zamfara state nearly two weeks ago have been freed.
They were kidnapped from the Government Day Secondary School, Kaya, in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.
In a video seen by ARISE News, the governor of Zamfara state Bello Matawalle is shown with some of the male and female students at the Government House in Gusau.
The development comes amid a military operation against the bandits in the state. The government also took measures such as shutting down telecommunication networks, suspending weekly markets and the ban the sale of fuel in jerry cans.
There are reports that suspected bandits had been fleeing the state to escape from the military offensive, but the lack of mobile telecommunication and the closure of some roads to traffic in the state have made it difficult to verify the information.
In what appeared like a move to underscore the success of the military operation, Mr Matawalle last week, said the state government would no longer negotiate with bandits, cancelling his policy of peaceful dialogue with the deadly criminals.
“My administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits as they have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them,’’ the governor said.
Despite these efforts, a group on Saturday attacked a military base in the state, leaving at least 12military personnel dead.