Six suspected bandits, kept in detention by security agencies in Katsina, were this morning released and handed over to representatives of Bandits in exchange for 20 kidnapped persons in their custody.
Daily Trust reports that five were released on Sunday as part of the ongoing dialogue and negotiation between government and repentant bandits that have terrorised some 8 local governments of the state.
Speaking shortly after handing over the six suspects, Governor Aminu Masari said part of the agreement reached between the two was that government would handover bandits in detention while the bandits, in return, shall handover to government kidnapped people.
“Already, they have surrendered five kidnapped people, two females and three males. Before closing time today, they are going to return 20 kidnapped persons that are in their custody,” he said.
While expressing hope that the process would be completed within the next one or two days, Masari said government would then kick start the second phase of the peace initiatives to solidify the achievement reached in the first phase.
In a related development, four repentant bandits namely; Abdullahi Mairafi, Audu Danda, Ardo Nashawali and Sale Dangote, operating in Jibia forest, have handed over two AK47 rifles and ammunition to the state government during a dialogue outreach held in Shimfidda village.
They pledge to submit more firearms in custody of their remaining members.