Twelve kidnapped victims at the Zuma 1 area of Bwari Area Council on January 2 were rescued by troops of the Nigerian Army,
The joint security team on Saturday night rescued the victims from the hands of deadly armed bandits.
The FCT Police Command in a statement by SP Josephine Adeh said: “The operatives successfully rescued the victims around Kajuru forest in Kaduna State at about 11:30 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2024.
It will be recalled that suspected bandits on January 2 and 3 attacked the Zuma community in Bwari Area Council of the FCT injuring two policemen and kidnapping about 10 persons including a father, Mansoor Kadriyar and his six children, all girls.
During the attack, the victims quickly alerted a middle-aged man identified as Alhaji, who mobilised policemen to try and foil the kidnapping of the seven family members and others, but he was shot by the bandits.
Two policemen were injured before the bandits made away with the victims.
Subsequently, the bandits demanded a ransom of N60 million and killed the eldest daughter, Nabeeha, owing to the delay in paying the ransom and later increased the ransom to N100 million.
Another three persons had earlier been kidnapped by bandits in the Barangoni area and also in the Bwari area council after inflicting a gunshot injury on a vigilante during the incident.
According to the statement, “CP Haruna Garba appreciated the Inspector General of Police, IGP Olukayode Egbetokun for the deployment of the newly commissioned Special Intervention Squad, which has given an uplift to the existing security architecture of the FCT.
But, a counter-terrorism/insurgency expert privy to military operations, Zagazola Makama said: “The operation, which took place on January 20, was carried out by the Nigerian Army’s 197 Special Forces Battalion.
“Troops involved in the operation have provided a comprehensive account backed with pictorial evidence embedded with coordinate data of the rescue mission near Gurara Dam in Kachia LGA, which was based on intelligence received at 2200 hours (10 pm)
He said the troops swiftly responded and located 12 individuals — three adult females, two female children, and seven male children — who had been left by their captors.
“The army’s intervention was prompt and precise, with the military personnel dominating the area and ensuring the safety of the rescued parties.
“Furthermore, the report from the army indicates that the troops encountered an ambush by suspected bandits while returning with the rescued individuals.
“Despite the sudden attack, the soldiers managed to suppress the threat without incurring any casualty among both the rescue team and the victims.”
He said the army handed over the rescued abductees to the police for further reuniting them with their respective families.
An officer was quoted as saying: “We have all the pictorial evidence marked with coordinates to show the time and location of the rescue which we have shared.
“No doubt we are all serving one nation and our core mandate is safeguarding the citizens, but it is highly demoralizing for our troops to hear that in an operation in which they came under deadly ambush, someone will dismiss their efforts by claiming that it was an operation conducted by the police Anti-kidnapping squad in a joint effort with the army.
Handing over rescued victims of abduction to civil police cannot be described as a joint operation, for God’s sake.”