From John Adams, Minna
Exactly one week after their abduction, the remaining 39 passengers on board of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) on Sunday last week have regained their freedom.
They were released this afternoon and handed over to the state government in an undisclosed location within the state and are currently on their way to Minna, the state capital.
It could be recalled that 47 passengers on board of the state transport authority were waylaid by armed bandits numbering about 40 on their way back to Minna from Rijau, in Rijau local government area of the state on Sunday last week at Kundu village, along Minna-Tegina road.
However eight of the victims were freed four days later after an unconfirmed reports had it that their families have paid for their release.
The bandits thereafter demanded N500million ransom for the release of the remaining victims but the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello ruled out the possibility of paying any ransom to the bandits but promised to engage every stakeholders in the negotiation for the release of the abductees.
The release of the bus passengers is not unconnected with the intervention of the Kaduna based Islamic Cleric, Sheik Ahmed Gumi who after meeting with a group of the bandits on Thursday last week assured that all the victims, including the government science collage students will be release unhurt.
Meanwhile the 27 students of Kagara government science School , three staff and 12 relations of the staff are yet to regain their freedom despite assurances from both government and the Sheik Gumi led negotiation team.