At least 20 people abducted by bandits from Katoge village in Katsina State have regained their freedom.
The victims, comprising 10 women, eight girls, a boy, and a male adult, were abducted five months ago in Batsari Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
They took turns to narrate their ordeals while being held by bandits at their camp located on the fringes of the dreaded Rugu Forest.
Among those who spoke with reporters on Saturday at the Katsina Hajj Camp was a nursing mother, Sahura Haruna.
Sahura, who was kidnapped with an early pregnancy alongside others, said she was delivered of a baby girl while in captivity.
“The newborn baby was delivered five days ago (Monday) amid the trauma,” she said. “The health conditions of the baby and I are not too good because, after the medical check-up, the doctor said we lack adequate water in our body system.
“I almost slumped when I attempted to get up after I delivered my baby.”
Another victim identified as Rabiu Mannir narrated how they were able to escape from the den of the kidnappers.
He explained that a jet of the Nigerian Air Force flew over the bandits’ camp on Friday night – a development that put the criminals in a panic state.
According to Mannir, the bandits scampered to safety and left their victims behind while the abducted persons took advantage of the situation to escape.
Following their return, the Secretary to the Katsina State Government, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, handed them over to authorities of Batsari LGA.
He disclosed that the returnees were brought back by authorities in neighbouring Zamfara after they escaped, adding that some of them found themselves in the state.
Inuwa confirmed that the victims have been medically examined in Zamfara before being brought back to reunite with their families in Katsina.
Similarly in the north-west region, 10 additional students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School abducted by bandits in Kaduna State have been released.
The students also regained their freedom on Saturday, after spending about 75 days in the custody of their abductors.
A total of 121 students were forcefully taken away from their hostels when bandits attacked the school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state on July 5.
The bandits later released the students in batches, but 21 others are still in the custody of the bandits.