By Abubakar Ahmed
Gusau – A total of 10 Zamfara indigines enslaved in Burkina Faso have been handed over to the state government on Thursday, after regaining their freedom.
The 10 victims were among the 23 people evacuated to Nigeria by Katsina State Government from Burkina Faso with the assistance of the Nigerian embassy in that country.
Special Adviser to the Katsina governor on Drugs, Narcotics and Human Trafficking, Alhaji Hamza Brodo, handed over the 10 persons to the Secretary to Zamfara Government, Bala Maru, in Gusau.
He said, “a total of 23 persons were deceitfully transported by one Usman who sold them to one woman in Benin Republic and from there, the woman too sold them to another buyer in Burkina Faso.
“An alarm was raised to the Katsina state government by Nigerian Embassy in Burkina Faso which said all the enslaved persons were from Katsina leading to Governor Masari directing me to go and bring them back.
“It is on getting there that I discovered that 10 of the victims are from Zamfara state and on the authority of my governor, I brought all of them back.
“Governor Masari gave them some money to start their own businesses with a call on them never to allow themselves to be deceived with better jobs offers by human traffickers.”
He then handed a letter dated October 2, 2019, signed by Secretary to the Katsina state Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa titled “Repatriation and Handing Over of Trafficked Persons” containing the list of the 10 victims who all hail from Bungudu local government area of Zamfara.
Receiving the victims, the SSG thanked Katsina state government for the effort and promised to reunite the victims with their families.
Narrating their ordeals, the victims said they were subjected to various hard labour including digging at mining sites without pay.
The victims said they contacted the Ougadougou Hausa Community leader who reported the matter to Nigerian Embassy there which led to their return.