Katsina State government may have traced 20 of its indigenes to Burkina Faso where they were allegedly sold into slavery by armed bandits.
Reports indicate that “modern day slavery” thrives in Burkina Faso, a former French colony located in the Sahel region of West Africa, with human merchandise exchanging hands through various middlemen in parts of northern Nigeria, Benin Republic, Republic of Niger and Chad.
Competent sources hinted at the weekend that identification of the current location of some of the kidnap victims was part of the fall out of recent efforts by Governor Aminu Bello Masari who led a team of government officials and security agencies to the dreaded Rugu forest, on a dialogue mission with a cross section of the bandits and kidnappers.
According to one of the sources, “the victims were kidnapped in Kankara local government area and sold to a woman in Cotonou who in turn sold them to another slave marchant in Burkina Faso.”
Confirming the development, Masari’s Special Adviser on Drugs, Narcotics and Human Trafficking, Hamza Borodo, declined to give further details but said that, “yes, I will be traveling to Burkina Faso this weekend to negotiate their release but I won’t give you details until I return.”
Until the dialogue initiative, eight local government areas of Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Dan-Musa, Kankara, Faskari, Dandume and Sabuwa had become synonymous with banditry and kidnapping, along with the slaughter of residents in a number of communities.
Incidentally, the areas share boundaries with the Rugu forest, said to transverse through parts of the neighbouring Niger Republic, Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna states.