Two personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were kidnapped alongside the Chairman of Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Safiyanu Andaha, have regained their freedom.
Recall that the council boss chairman was abducted alongside his friend, Adamu Custom, and the other victims at Ningo village along the Akwanga-Andaha Road.
The state NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Jerry Victor, confirmed their release exclusively to the punch on Wednesday, January 3, 2023, in Lafia.
According to Jerry, the two NSCDC personnel were traveling with the Akwanga LG chairman when they were barricaded by the gunmen who confronted them in their numbers and whisked them away.
The NSCDC spokesman, however, said due to the tense situation during the operation, the security operatives did not repel the bandits with their arms because doing so could probably have endangered the lives of the chairman, his friend and other motorists plying the road.
“Yes, two personnel of the Nasarawa State Command of the NSCDC were kidnapped on Monday alongside the Chairman of Akwanga LG. One of them is attached to his office while the other one is his ally who was off duty on that fateful day,” he stated.
“They were kidnapped together but the personnel working with the local government chairman was brave enough to quickly identify the threat
“What he did was to gallantly shield his rifle. The purpose was to protect himself and to also protect his principal, because if the bandits knew that he had a rifle with him, there would have been a great damage.
“The other NSCDC personnel was not on duty when the incident happened. He simply joined the chairman as an ally for the new year celebration to Ningo village that day.
“After they were kidnapped, the Army later came and took the rifle where he (chairman’s security aide) gallantly kept it. The rifle is presently with the Army and the two personnel are still in the hospital for medical attention since they regained freedom,”
The kidnappers had on Tuesday morning demanded a ransom of N50 million before they would be released to their families.
However, a source close to the victims told journalists in Lafia on Tuesday night that N10m was later paid to the kidnappers to secure their release after intensed negotiations.
The source added that after the ransom was paid to the bandits, they dropped the victims behind a filling station along Bayan Dutse Road, an outskirt of Andaha town to enable their families to locate them.
“They were released around 9pm on Tuesday behind a filling station at Bayan Dutse Road after N10m was paid as ransom
The kidnappers who are suspected to be herdsmen kept taking the victims through several bush paths which made them very tired,”
“But immediately they regained freedom, they were escorted by security men to the hospital for medical attention, and were later reunited with their families,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the State Police Command, DSP Ramhan Nansel, has said no ransom was paid to secure the release of the council chairman and the three other victims.
Nansel said the release of the four victims followed sustained pressure on the kidnappers, adding that the bandits were left with no other option than to set the victims free.
“The command’s Anti-kidnaping unit and the Akwanga Divisional Patrol team had been deployed to Andaha village to convey the kidnap victims to Akwanga for medical examination before reuniting them with their families,” the PPRO said.