The Katsina State government has rescued 31 victims of human trafficking, sold in Benin Republic and taken to Burkina Faso.
The Director General, Media and publicity to the state government, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, in a statement, said the victims were expected back in Katsina State today Tuesday.
According to him, the victims, seven of whom have been assisted to return to Nigeria by the Nigerian Embassy in Burkina Faso, have already arrived Katsina State.
Contrary to the news making the rounds in the social and new media, Labaran said “the 31 Katsina State citizens were not kidnapped but tricked and sold into slavery in Benin Republic to a Beninoise lady by one Alhaji Usman from Kankara town, now at large, but whose mobile phone numbers are in the possession of security and other government officials.
“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” he said.
Meanwhile, the remaining 24 victims are due to arrive in Katsina, where Governor Aminu Bello Masari will receive them in the General Muhammadu Buhari House today.
He said: “Their release to freedom was facilitated by the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Hajiya Rahmatu Ahmed, who contacted and informed the Katsina State government about the flight 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 Trafficking, Alhaji Hamza Brodo with a 30-seater luxury bus to go to Ouagadougou and bring back the remaining 24 victims, he added.