The Katsina State government says it has secured the release of 31 indigenes, victims of slave traders operating in Nigeria, Benin Republic and Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
Seven of the victims are already back in Katsina, their return facilitated by the Nigerian Embassy in Burkina Faso, according to a Katsina State Government House press statement on Tuesday.
The statement signed by Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s Director-General (Media and Publicity), Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, explained that the victims were, “tricked and sold into slavery in Benin Republic to a Beninoise lady, by one Alhaji Usman from Kankara town in Katsina State.
“The Benin lady thereafter took her ‘slaves’ to Gaoua, a town 150 kilometres from Ouagadougou, the Burkina Faso capital, where she kept them in servitude without food or money. The lady has been apprehended by the local authorities in Gaoua.
“The remaining 24 victims are due to arrive Katsina (on Tuesday) where Governor Aminu Bello Masari will receive them at the General Muhammadu Buhari House.
“Their release was facilitated by the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Hajiya Rahmatu Ahmed, who contacted and informed the Katsina State Government about the plight of the trafficked victims, currently under the care of the Chief of the Hausa community in Ouagadougou.
“On receiving the information, Governor Masari dispatched the Special Adviser on Drugs, Narcotics and Human Trafficking, Alhaji Hamza Borodo, with a 30-seater luxury bus to go to Ouagadougou and bring back the remaining 24 victims,” the statement said.