The 38 abducted schoolchildren and officials of the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State, on Saturday, regained their freedom from bandits, who kept them in captivity for 10 days.
The abductees, who were received by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello at the Niger State Government House in Minna, recounted their ordeal in the bandits’ den on Saturday.
The 38 victims, comprising 24 students, six members of staff and eight relatives of the staff members, arrived in Minna early on Saturday.
They were immediately taken to a government-owned facility for medical examination and to clean up in view of their poor physical appearances.
Of the 38 victims, one was hospitalised.
Bandits had on February 17, 2021 stormed the Government Science College Kagara and taken away the abductees.
In the operation, a pupil, identified as Benjamin Habila, was shot dead by the bandits.
One of the 24 pupils, who regained their freedom on Saturday, Suleiman Lawal, said given the kind of suffering he experienced in the bandits’ den, it was unlikely he would return to the same school.
Another SS3 pupil, Abubakar Sidi, said the bandits starved them for several hours, adding that after they eventually fed them, they began to beat them.
Sidi said pupils who identified themselves as children of policemen or military men were even more ruthlessly beaten by the bandits.
He said, “We couldn’t get any food to eat, from 1 0’ clock till night, but they later fed us; and after feeding us, they began to ask for our fathers’ occupations and beat us. Anyone who said his father was a policeman or a soldier was asked to come out and was given extra beating.
They fed us beans every day, just as they tortured us.”