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Army: Troops rescued 16 kidnap victims in Kaduna, Nigeria

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Operatives of the Nigerian Army during a rescue mission

Nigerian Army has stated that its troops rescued 16 kidnap victims in Tantatu Community of Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the northwestern part of the country.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a press release dated 18 March 2024.

According to General Nwachukwu, the troops deployed in 1 Division area of responsibility in Kaduna “successfully averted a kidnap attempt”.

Information available to Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) shows that the attempt was staged by a violent extremist and insurgent group.

The soldiers, Nwachukwu said, rescued and freed the abductees.

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He disclosed further that the Army responded to actionable intelligence on 17 March 2024 at about 10:30 PM.

They moved quickly the insurgents who, he said, had earlier attacked the community in numbers and abducted some of the villagers as hostages.

“On arriving the scene of the incident, the troops tenaciously pursued the insurgents, engaging them in a ferocious exchange of fire and consequently rescuing 16 kidnapped victims.

“The troops are still exploiting the bushes in continuation of the search and rescue operations to extricate other victims and balk the nefarious activities of the insurgents,” the Army Public Relations Director added.

Army chief reacts

On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, was quoted as commending the troops.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja

General Lagbaja commended them for the successful rescue operation of the kidnap victims.

He charged the soldiers to be vigilant while conducting counter-insurgency operations to liberate troubled areas.

Kidnapping is rife across all geopolitical zones of the country.

In recent years, Nigeria has faced a concerning surge in kidnappings, particularly in the North Central and North Western region.

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Here are some key points about this distressing issue:

School Abductions

Since December, more than 600 school children have been abducted from schools across northern Nigeria.

The attacks on schools were reportedly carried out by various criminal groups generally referred to as “bandits”.

The term “bandits” encompasses kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers, Fulani herdsmen, and other armed militias operating in the region.

Bandits lurking in the bushes of Kaduna with military weapons

Bandits lurking in the bushes of Kaduna with military weapons

The motivation behind these abductions is largely financial, as the criminals seek ransom payments.

Weak security infrastructure for the Police and the military is blamed for the developments.

Also, governors’ limited control over security in their states have reportedly contributed to the crisis.

Some governors have resorted to paying ransoms, making mass abductions a lucrative source of income.

Residents frequently lament that neither the Army nor the Police authorities are visible even when called upon.

Recent Incidents

On March 7, 2024, bandits kidnapped 287 pupils in Kuriga Primary and Secondary School in Kaduna.

A teacher in the school, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi, gave an eyewitness account of the development.

Abdullahi said: “I resumed to the school today at exactly 7:47am. I entered the Acting Principal’s office and signed.

“All of a sudden, the Acting Principal asked me to look at my back and when I turned, we discovered that bandits had surrounded the school premises.

“Then, the bandits asked us to enter the bush, so we obeyed them because they were many and the pupils, about 700 were following us.

“I was lucky to escape alongside many other people. At GSS Kuriga, 187 students are missing.

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“In the primary school, 125 pupils were initially missing, but 25 of them escaped and returned home,” he narrated.

Parents of abducted Nigerian students hold up placards during protest

Parents of abducted Nigerian students hold up placards during protest

Other incidents in Kaduna

Earlier, on February 18, 2024, Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) reported that the same Bandits abducted 35 people in Kwasam community, Kauru LGA and Gwada community in Igabi LGA of Kaduna State.

The abducted include a retired Director of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Zakariya Markus, his brother and the brother’s wife.

They also killed no fewer than nine persons and injured nine people during the attacks in the two LGAs.

The report showed that six persons were killed, five abducted and two injured in Kauru LGA.

Meanwhile, three persons were killed, seven injured, and 30 others kidnapped in Igabi LGA of the State.

A resident, while speaking on one of the incidences, said the attack occured 5 kilometers from Army checkpoint!

What is the situation in Abuja?

Ironically, even the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, is not exempt, despite heavy Army formations.

Tower announcing arrival to Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja

Tower announcing arrival to Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja

The FCT, once renowned for its relative tranquility and security, is gripped by fear and unease as cases of kidnappings continue to surge.

Residents live in constant anxiety, hence demand immediate action from authorities to restore safety and protect their lives and property.

Recently, residents of Dei-Dei town, located off Kubwa-Zuba Road, under Bwari Area Council in Abuja were thrown into shock following the abduction of over 23 residents of the community.

The abductees were mostly taken from three housing estates in the area.

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DDM News gathered that the kidnappers were mostly clad in Army uniform.

They arrived at the livestock layout area located on the edge of the livestock market in Dei-Dei around 8 PM.

The hoodlums carried out their operation without military or paramilitary intervention, according to residents.

Where is the Army?

Barely 48 hours after the attack, two children, alongside nine adults, were also whisked away at Gbaupe village, behind Aco Estate, along Airport Road in Abuja.

At the same period, a similar incident happened at nearby Arab Road residential area in Kubwa town, close to the highway.

Seven residents were abducted by kidnappers believed to be sharing the same base in the bush with that of the Dei-Dei operators.

In another incident, no fewer than 85 persons, comprising both travelers and residents, were abducted by terrorists.

It happened at Katari, in the Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State, along Kaduna – Abuja Highways.

DDM also reported that more than four residents were killed by the hoodlums with no help from the Army or Police.

A breakdown of those abducted by the terrorists indicated that between January 7 and January 10, 2024, a total of 85 persons were abducted.

Next day, January 11, 22 people were kidnapped in Kawu Village in Bwari Area Council, also in Abuja.

Is the Army and Police overwhelmed?

The question on the lips of observers is: Are the Army and Police overwhelmed by insecurity challenges in the country?


For Diaspora Digital Media Updates click on Whatsapp, or Telegram. For eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles, write to: citizenreports@diasporadigitalmedia.com. Follow us on X (Fomerly Twitter) or Facebook

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