Bello Matawallen, governor of Zamfara state, says not less than 200 abducted persons in the state have been released through a peace initiative.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Zailani Bappa, the governor’s senior special assistant on public enlightenment, media and communication.
The peace initiative included dialogue among armed bandits, security agents and local vigilante groups known as ‘yan sakai.’
He said 33 persons including men, women and children, were just released by their captors into the hands of Usman Nagogo, Zamfara commissioner of police.
“Twenty-three more captives were released today by their captors into the hands of the Zamfara Commissioner of Police, Usman Nagogo who introduced them to newsmen at the Police headquarters in Gusau this morning,” the statement read.
“The Twenty_three comprises men, women and children and were promptly fed, cleaned up and attended by Doctors. This brings to over 200 persons so far released unconditionally under the ongoing peace initiative of the present administration of Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun).”
Speaking with journalists, Nagogo said conflicts can be resolved through round-table discussions and not necessarily violence.
He said the state is yet to be completely free from attacks due to the long-term existence of banditry. He added that more work will be done to ensure that insecurity is reduced to the minimum level.
“We are not surprised with this, if the progress achieved in releasing captives since the last briefing is anything to go by, we have achieved tremendous progress in integrating these victims to their families,” he said.
“The number of people rescued in the last six days stood at 33. This shows us that the ongoing dialogue and reconciliation in the state is working.”