How bandits tortured us in six nights of horror – Freed Katsina schoolboys

The pupils were kidnapped last Friday from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara. Boko Haram had on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the kidnapping though some government officials had refuted the claim that the terrorist group was involved in the mass abduction.

They said shortly after their abduction, the abductors divided them into groups and marched them into a forest with thorny plants, where they slept in the cold.

The kidnapping raised concerns and anger about worsening insecurity and violence in the country.

For instance, one of the pupils, Farouq Aminu, said, “Right now, I’m not feeling well and it is because of the terrible experience I had. The people (bandits) forced us to walk throughout. They flogged those who were not keeping up with others. We were fed Dankali (potatoes) and cassava and we were not fed every day. But some of us were able to get some fruits that we also ate. I did not hear that anybody died among us. I thank God for bringing me back home. After we were released, we were first taken to some areas in Zamfara State. We were taken to Tsafe (in Zamfara) and eventually brought to Katsina.”

According to another pupil, Abubakar Sodiq, the bandits exposed them to “every dehumanising condition.”

He said, “Our ordeals began from when we were abducted from our school. The bandits kept on shooting in the air to scare us and they warned us against making any attempt to escape.  They gave us food when they felt like and gave us dirty water to drink. This made some of us to fall sick but they were able to recover without being attended to. As I’m talking to you, I’m not feeling well. I want to go home.”

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