A local police official reported that police and government authorities had obtained the release of 100 persons kidnapped from their hamlet in northwestern Nigeria over a month ago, including women, children, and nursing mothers.
Nigeria is dealing with an uptick in violent robberies and kidnappings for ransom, particularly in the northern states, where security services have failed to keep up with the development of armed gangs known as bandits.
The abductees were kidnapped on June 8 from Manawa village in Zamfara state, according to Mohammed Shehu, the state’s police spokesperson, who spoke to Reuters on Wednesday.
He said their release had been secured “without giving any financial or material gain.”
“They will be medically checked and debriefed before (being) reunited with their respective families,” the statement added.
While northeastern Nigeria has faced a decade of insecurity, including attacks by Islamist militants including Islamic State-allied Boko Haram, the current wave of kidnappings is primarily financially motivated.
Lagos-based consultancy SBM Intelligence estimates that kidnappers took 2,371 people across Nigeria in the first half of this year, demanding ransoms totaling 10 billion naira ($24.33 million).
The bulk of those were abducted in the northern states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger. SBM said it could not accurately assess how much has been paid in ransoms.
Over 200 students as well as scores of others taken in kidnapping raids are still being held captive.