The Katsina State Government of Nigeria said it has rescued 23 victims of human trafficking who were forced into slavery in Burkina Faso.
The State Governor, Aminu Masari, received the victims on Tuesday night in Katsina after state government officials brought them back home from Burkina Faso.
He explained that the victims were lured by an agent who promised them lucrative jobs abroad but ended up selling them as slaves.
“The attention of the state government was drawn to the plight of the victims through a letter by the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Mrs Ramatu Mohammed about their presence in that country.
“Immediately we received the letter, we dispatched our officials to Burkina Faso to rescue the victims,” he said.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the governor on Narcotics, Hamza Borodo, who led state officials to Burkina Faso, said 23 persons were brought back while two others refused to come back.
“We later understand that the two persons were the agents of one Usman Wagini, who took them there and sold them to a businesswoman,” he said.
One of the victims, Usman Suleiman, said that Wagini went to their villages in Kankara Local Government Area and lured them with a promise of good jobs abroad.
He said that they were first taken to Lagos and later Cotonou in Benin Republic where a businesswoman bought them and put them into modern slavery.
Suleiman said that it took them sometimes to realize that they have fallen victims of human trafficking.
“We were subjected to different hardships and there was no enough food to eat or water to drink.
“Whenever anyone of us is sick, he is left to mother destiny to take care of him,” he said.
The victim said that they were forced by necessity to look for the local Hausa Chief in Burkina Faso, who contacted Nigeria’s Ambassador there over their plight.
“We thank God that Governor Masari assisted and rescued us from that country.”