Repentant bandits were pivotal to the release of 18 students and staff of the College of Agricultural and Animal Sciences Bakura, Zamfara governor Bello Matawalle has disclosed.

“As we all know, my administration initiated peace and reconciliation with the bandits as part of the measures to address security challenges facing the state.

“We used the dialogue through the repentant bandits and rescued this staff and students”, Mr Matawalle said on Friday as he received the released students.

Bandits had on August 16, abducted students and staff of the College in Bakura Local Government Area of the state.

Presenting the released abductees to Mr Matawalle, at the Government House, Gusau, on Friday, the State Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Elkana, reiterated that the victims were rescued through dialogue initiated by the state government.

“We may recall that the students were abducted and kept with the bandits 12 days ago.

“They were rescued through the peace dialogue initiated by Governor Bello Matawalle, without paying any kobo as ransom.

“I am happy to hand over the released students and staff to his Excellency, the governor,today,” the Commissioner said.

Mr Elkana commended all stakeholders who assisted in the rescue of the students.

Mr Matawalle commended the state peace and reconciliation committee for achieving the success.

“We thank Allah the almighty, for having this staff and students back,” he said.

He said the released abductees will undergo medical checkup before they are handed over to their families.

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