Eight days after their abduction, the remaining 39 passengers on board the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) have regained their freedom.
The abductees were released Sunday evening and handed over to the state government at an undisclosed location in Zamfara State.
The victims are on their way to Minna from Zanfara State.
The release of the commuters has strengthened the belief that the school boys and their teachers who were said to have been abducted by the same gang five days ago could also be released Monday.
Forty-seven passengers on board of the State Transport Authority were waylaid at Kundu village in Rafi Local Government Area by bandits numbering about 40 on their way to Minna from Rijau after attending a wedding.
Eight of the victims were freed four days later after an unconfirmed reports had it that their families had paid the ransom demanded by the bandits.
The bandits also demanded N500 million ransom for the release of the remaining victims but the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, ruled out the possibility of paying any ransom to the bandits.
The release of the commuters may have been as a result of the dialogue between a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmed Gumi, and the state government.
A two-paragraph statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Mary Noel Berje, confirmed the story.
The statement read: “The Niger State Government has secured the release of the abducted NSTA bus passengers.
“Government is intensifying efforts to also secure the release of the Kagara Government Science College students, staff and their family members.”