600 Laborers Rescued In Kano
Kano state police command has busted what looks like a slave camp and rescued about 600 locked up for three months. The laborers, 2n-Nework gathered, were forced by the factory to spend three months in a factory in Challawa industrial area of the state.
But Kano police Operatives acting on a tip off, stormed the factory on Monday having obtained a court order, arrested four managers and freed the detained workers.
The affected workers who disclosed that the farm owners forced them to remain locked up with threats to sack them from their jobs if they opted to go home to see their families, added that they were denied access outside the premises of the factory over fears that they bring in COVID-19 into the process.
One of the freed workers revealed that he has been locked up inside the factory, without setting his foot outside, since March 23rd. Another worker, Haruna Salihu, told newsmen that he had been placed on a lock down in the factory since March 28. Salihu, who added that they were tricked into being locked up added that they were not allowed outside the factory gate even when some members of their families came to the factory to check on them.
“Our family members are seriously disturbed as they don’t know the condition we are in. My wife and my kids used to come to the factory’s gate and I couldn’t go and meet them. We were tricked to stay in the factory for five days, then it was extended to seven days, then two weeks and subsequently extended to one month. We are now detained for over three months. There are about 600 workers in the factory. We are sleeping in a very poor environment. I am appealing to authorities to allow me to go back to my family.” he said.
A truck driver, Hashimu Isa, who brought paddy rice from Kebbi State, was equally not spared in the lock up drama. Isa, who narrated his ordeal disclosed that he was kept in the factory for three days without going out.
“I brought paddy rice from Yauri, Kebbi State. I couldn’t go out of the factory, since my entry three days ago. Even if you attempted to go out, the security will not allow you. I couldn’t go out to give my boy money to buy food. Someone sent me ten thousand Naira, but I couldn’t go to the bank to withdraw it. I was waiting to offload the rice so that I will leave,” he said.
Kano police Spokesperson, Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, told newsmen that his command has arrested four management staff of the factory, adding thatinvestigation is ongoing to verify the allegations against them.
“We have found many workers locked and enslaved in the factory. The commissioner of police, Habu A Sani, has directed for thorough investigation. So far, we have arrested four management staff and investigation has commenced,” Kiyawa said.
One of the managers of the factory Abdulkareem, regretted the incident. He added that he was not aware of the workers’ terrible condition.