Some of the victims who were kidnapped in different parts of Zamfara State resorted to eating grasses to survive when their captors left them with no food.
One of the victims, who gave her name as Iklima Murtala, claimed that 17 persons died as a result of starvation.
Receiving the victims on behalf of the government, the secretary to the state government, Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe, said, “The state government will continue to put pressure on the bandits until they finally give up.”
The commissioner of police in the state, Ayuba Elkana, had noted that due to pressure and lack of food, bandits were finding it very hard to operate.
“They are finding it extremely difficult now to carry out their activities because we have blocked them,” he said.
Speaking with Daily Trust, the governor’s spokesman, Zailani Bappa, who confirmed that 185 kidnapped victims had been freed from kidnappers’ den, said the state government had taken over the treatment and rehabilitation of the rescued victims.
He said, “The people rescued were 185. The first thing done in Zamfara State whenever people are rescued from the bandits is that the victims are taken to hospitals to ascertain the conditions of their health. They are examined to see if they have contracted an infection or disease while in captivity. For any of them who have any problem, the government foots the bills until they are fully treated, discharged and certified fit.
“They are also being fed, clothed and properly taken care of throughout their stay. After recovery, they are also subjected to psychiatric evaluation and treatment for the trauma they went through at the hands of the bandits. When they are fully treated and they recover, they are then reunited with their families so that they continue with their normal lives.”