From Abba Kabara, Gusau.
Mixed feelings of grief and sympathy hovered over Zamfara community particularly the government house on Tuesday when the released female students begun to narrate their heart touching experiences with bandits during their four-day period in captivity.
The 279 female students of Jangebe girls boarding secondary school under Talata Mafara local government who were abducted last Friday early morning, regained freedom and were received at the government house by governor Matawalle.
None of them looked healthy as all of them, aside from looking very tired and hungry, were limping in pains from long distance tracking through very thorny and rocky jungle.
Commotion and uncontrolled tears shedding could be seen on many faces when some of the released captives begun to narrate their experiences.
One of them, Hafsat Umar Anka of SSII said the bandits stormed the school around 2am on the fateful Friday “as we were awoken by heavy sounds of gun shots with accompanying strange voices”.
The captives whisked “hundred of us into the bush and forced us to trek long distance on bare foot, keeping us warned that if we refuse to behave we will certainly be killed and throw away”.
She said they complied with the instruction to avoid being killed as they painfully moved into the seeming endless jungle as hunger and scorching thirst worsened thief condition.
On reaching their target destination, she said they were fed each with beans, Gari or just white rice and oil, in which they often throw sands in the poor meal and to eat like that or remain hungry and die.
At night we were forced into a cave like cavity littered with human feaces as our sleeping room, which is polluted with offensive smell reeking from the several balls of the surrounding human feaces.
She narrates that there were many captives already there who had spent months in captivity and some of them, despite their old age, were being subjected to physical torture inflicting wounds on them.
Contrary to fears that the young girls may face sexual assault from the bandits, one of the girls Rabbi Musa said the bandit’s leader called Kasalle a. K. a. Yaya was the one who kept warning the co-bandits to stay away from molesting them sexually.
Rabi said there were three Fulani girls among them who were daily treated in the mode of feeding and approach by the bandits throughout their period of stay with the bandits. ‘These girls she said ” were first served with good food before we were later served after several hours’
Another victim told this medium that one of her co-captives saw her father who was kidnapped about four months ago. “She saw him bleeding when a bandit stroke him with a dagger on his right arm” she said.
She said when the father noticed the daughter, he signaled her to remain mute and pretend she doesn’t know him or else both of them may risk being killed.