The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) a splinter group from Boko Haram has freed five personnel of Borno State Government who were abducted last month, officials have confirmed.
The five civil servants who work with the state ministry for reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement were seized by the insurgents while travelling between Maiduguri and Monguno.
The abducted officials were later seen in a video begging the state government to come to their rescue.
A source who was familiar with the release of the officials told Premium Times that the fighters had mistaken the civil servants for non-governmental organisations’ workers.
“They initially thought the five abductees were staff of some NGOs,” the source said, “But they had to change their minds when they realised that they were only junior staffers – mostly labourers engaged by the ministry of RRR.”
It was gathered that the chief executive officer of Kalthum Foundation for Peace (KFP) Ummul-Kalthum Abdurrahman played a key role in the release.
Ms Kalthum explained that the five abductees regained their freedom without any payment of ransom.
“When we asked the abductees, they said they had travelled for several hours to get to that location. One of them said they took them far beyond the shores of Lake Chad,” she said.