The abducted passengers of the Niger State Transport Authority bus, who regained freedom from captivity on Sunday, have narrated their ordeals in the hands of their captors.
They told journalists in Minna on Monday that their experience was terrible and horrible.
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One of them, Hajia Jummai Isah, said: “They were threatening us and beating the men.
“They really beat the hell out of the men, but all they wanted from us was money.
“They kept demanding money from us so that they would spare us, if not, they said they’d kill us. They used to give us dirty water to drink from the stream.
“Their ammunition is out of this world. I’d never seen that kind of arms before in my life. They’ve different kinds of assorted weapons.”
Muhammed Kindagi, a civil servant with the Niger State Science and Technical School Board, said: “If we ate in the morning, we wouldn’t eat another one till evening, with contaminated water to drink.
“We were sleeping on bare floors in the bush. We were not tied, but guns were pointed at our heads and they were beating us constantly every day.
“They beat our women too. There was one useless one among them who didn’t bother whether you’re a woman or a man before he started beating you.
“They beat us with sticks. As they’re beating us, they’re asking us to bring money.
“They asked us to forgive them and we said we forgave them. We asked them to forgive us too so that we could leave the bush.”
Another freed passenger, Hamza Muhammed Buhari, said: “They starved us because they only gave us handful of food that was not enough.
“We cooked rice with contaminated water, while about ten of us took a bottle of contaminated water. We were tortured daily. It was indeed bad and terrible.”
The freed passengers had been taken to the hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, the 27 students, three staff and family members of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State abducted last Wednesday were still in captivity as of the time of filing this report yesterday.
Father of slain Kagara student speaks
The father of the boy killed by bandits during the Government Science College Kagara’s attack, Ayuba Dansabe Bawa, said the incident would not deter him from sending his other children to school.
He spoke during a condolence visit to him by the Niger State Commissioner for Education, Hannatu Jibrin Salihu.
Niger is under-policed – Gov Bello
Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello yesterday said the state was grossly under-policed.
He spoke in Minna when federal lawmakers from the state paid him a condolence/solidarity visit over bandits’ attacks in the state.
He said statistics within his reach showed that “There are only 4,000 policemen to cover the entire Niger State.
“There used to be 14,000 policemen in the state before, and by now, we should be talking above 14,000 we used to have, especially with the upsurge of all forms of criminalities in Niger State.
“More importantly is that government should invest more in technology to manage security,” he said.