ZAMFARA State governor Bello Matawalle says security forces have rescued at least 544 abducted persons in the state within two months.
Matawalle spoke in Gusau at the swearing-in ceremony of 21 political appointees at the Government House over the weekend.
He said women, children, the aged and two students of Federal Government College Birnin Yauri in Kebbi were among those rescued by the security operatives.
The governor also disclosed that 18 students of the College of Agriculture and Animal Sciences, Bakura, and 75 students of Government Day Secondary School, Kaya, in Maradum Local Government Area (LGA) were among those rescued.
He attributed the feat to the recent mobile communication shut down in the state.
According to him, the telecom shutdown allowed security personnel to record tremendous successes in the fight against banditry, including the rescue of the abducted persons.
The security operatives, he said, made arrests of suspected bandits and their collaborators during the period.
In September, the Zamfara State Government announced the shutdown of telecommunication networks as part of measures to curtail insecurity in the state. Shortly after, Kaduna State adopted a similar approach amidst public criticism.
However, Matawalle disclosed how large quantities of hard drugs and alcoholic drinks meant for bandits were seized within the period.
The governor who assured the war against bandits and other criminals would continue until the state is made safe, applauded the security forces for dislodging bandit groups from their hideouts and arresting many informants.
Meanwhile, the 21 political appointees included two commissioners, 10 Special Advisers, eight Permanent Secretaries, and the state Auditor-General.
He urged the appointees to deploy their skills and experiences for the good of the state.
Muktar Ahmad-Darma, a commissioner, who spoke on behalf of the new appointees thanked the governor for appointing them into the positions.