Chibok Abduction: Release Of Schoolgirls Is Work In Progress, Says Presidency

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

The Presidency on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to securing the release of the missing students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, saying rescue efforts is a work in progress.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, reassured parents and all concerned citizens that the safe return of the students “remain constantly on the minds of government as they are always on the minds of their parents.”

Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents had on April 14, 2014 stormed the school facilities and whisked away over 276 schoolgirls, an incident that drew widespread condemnation across the world.

Although most of the 276 girls escaped or were later released, more than 112 girls are still missing.

READ ALSO: Seven Years After, Calls For Rescue Of Missing Chibok Schoolgirls Continue

Today marks the seventh anniversary of that tragic incident, with calls being renewed for the Federal Government to step up its efforts in facilitating the return of the schoolgirls.

But the presidential spokesman called on Nigerians to continue to remember the nation’s military in their prayers.

He said, “No one is giving up hope here. Efforts to secure their release through various channels and activities of the security and intelligence agencies remain on course.

“The recent decisive push by the military against the terrorists gives hope that a breakthrough is possible and could happen anytime soon.

“The Presidency asks for support, understanding and prayers for the military as they discharge their historic mandate to quickly finish off the insurgency war and free all citizens held hostage.”

Abducted Doctor, Nurse Regain Freedom In Ogun  

A map of Ogun, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

The Ogun State Police Command has confirmed the release of a doctor and a nurse abducted on April 7.

This was confirmed on Tuesday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi.

He however could not confirm if the family members of the victims paid ransom to secure the release of the health workers who regained their freedom in the early hours of today.

The doctor and nurse were identified as Oladunni Odetola and Mrs Bamgbose respectively.

Adetola, who is the head of General Hospital, Imeko, Imeko-Afon Local Government Area,  alongside the nurse Bamgbose were kidnapped on Wednesday last week on Abeokuta – Imeko road.

It was gathered that the gunmen had emerged from the bush at Olubo village and whisked away  their victims.

Their abductors subsequently demanded ₦20m ransom, a development which allegedly led to fundraising among the health workers in the state in order to secure the release of their colleagues.

READ ALSO: Policeman Fired For Attempted Murder Of Lady Friend

Sequel to this, the State Chairman of NMA, Ogunlaja Oladayo also confirmed their release after about six days in captivity.

“Yes, they have been released early this morning,” he said.

When asked if the ransom was paid, Oladayo responded “I don’t have any information on that.”

Meanwhile, the medical doctors and nurses in Ogun State have announced the withdrawal of services in protest against the abduction of their colleagues.

The no-work protest takes effect from 12 midnight on Tuesday.

In a letter jointly addressed to the Commissioner of Health, Dr Tomi Coker, they accused the government of non-committal to securing the release of the abducted health workers.

The letter titled “Notification of Withdrawal of Service” was dated April 12, and jointly signed by the State NMA Chairman, Oladayo Ogunlaja and the State Chairman of NANNM, Roseline Solarin.

They described the kidnapping of the health workers as “disheartening, repugnant and unacceptable,” adding that that the government’s approach of “not negotiating with the kidnappers have left us to believe our lives and security is of no essence to this government.”

The leadership, therefore, declared withdrawal of service by the doctors and nurses, from all public health institutions in the state, effective from 12 midnight on Tuesday.

“The strike will continue until the safety of our members is guaranteed,” the leadership added.

The letter reads partly: “In the light of the above, it glaring that the safety of the Health workers is no longer guaranteed.

“The joint committee of NMA and NANNM resolved as follows: Lives of our members which the government cannot guarantee is sacrosanct.

“The Government has not shown enough commitment to the safe release of our incarcerated members.

“Immediate withdrawal of the services of our members from all institutions until the safety of our members is guaranteed, effective from 12 midnight, 13th April 2021.

“We hope that the government will make the security of lives and properties a matter of priority and see to it immediately.”

El-Rufai, Adeboye Meet In Kaduna After Release Of Kidnapped RCCG Members

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye meets with Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna on April 13, 2021. Credit: Kaduna State Government

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has met with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The meeting held on Tuesday at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna, days after some RCCG members were abducted in the state.

In attendance were some top officials of the Kaduna State Government and those of the church.

Although it is unclear what transpired at the meeting, both leaders confirmed the talks via their Twitter handles.

“Earlier today, I decided to go out of my schedule to see my Children who God delivered from the den of the kidnappers while they were on their way to the venue of the Lets Go Fishing Exercise. To the Glory of God, they are Hale and Hearty,” Adeboye tweeted.

The revered cleric disclosed that Governor El-Rufai “appealed to me to visit the State House in Kaduna to pray for the state, its people and its leadership for peace and protection after laying hands on my Children who were sick. It is my prayer that the peace of and kingdom of God will be established in Kaduna State.”

READ ALSO: Eight RCCG Members Abducted In Kaduna Regain Freedom

Pastor Adeboye had on April 8 announced that eight of his church members kidnapped by bandits on March 26 in Kaduna State have regained freedom.

Shortly after their release, all the abducted persons were taken to a hospital for medical check-up.

It hasn’t been confirmed if any ransom was paid, sources close to the freed victims told Channels Television that they were released in batches.

See photos below:

Five Suspects Arrested Over Abduction, Murder Of Policemen

The Commissioner for Public Utilities in Anambra State, Engr Emeka Ezenwanne.

 

The police authorities have arrested five suspects linked to the abduction of the Commissioner for Public Utilities in Anambra State, Engr Emeka Ezenwanne, and the murder of three police officers in the state.

Gunmen had on March 31 stormed a rally organised by ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo and gunned down three of his security aides, including policemen.

They also opened fire at the Isuofia community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State where they whisked away the commissioner.

But in a statement issued on Sunday, the Anambra State Police Command, announced the arrest of the suspects, noting that efforts were in top gear to apprehend other fleeing suspects.

READ ALSO: Three Killed As Gunmen Storm Soludo’s Rally

“The Police Command had arrested five suspects in connection with the incident and remains committed to apprehending the remaining gang members,” a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu partly read.

“Meanwhile, the CP has called for calm and reiterates the Command’s commitment towards ensuring safety and security of Ndi Anambra and residents alike.”

On the rescue of the commissioner, the police spokesman said Ezenwanne was released after “police, Military and Other Security Agencies had mounted intense search and rescue efforts, which had closed in on his abductors.”

While reassuring the residents of Anambra State of their safety, he said Commissioner returned home unhurt, in the early hours of today.

Police Rescue 10 Kidnap Victims In Zamfara

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Zamfara State Police Command has rescued 12 kidnap victims in the Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

According to a statement issued on Monday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Shehu, the rescue efforts were made possible following a collaboration with the State Peace and Reconciliation Committee.

Gunmen had stormed Kaya village of Maradun local government in the early hours of today and whisked away the victims.

The victims including seven women and three men were abducted and taken to Sububu forest but later released following the ongoing peace process initiated by Governor Mohammed Bello Matawalle.

“All the rescued kidnapped victims have been debriefed by the Police and later handed them over to the sole Administrator of Maradun local government hale and hearty, who will reunite them with their families.

“Investigation regarding the abduction of the victims has commenced and the outcome will be made public,” the police spokesman added.

Abducted Rivers Monarch Regains Freedom One Month After

A photo combination showing Rivers map and a first-class ruler in the state, King Aaron Ikuru.

 

A first-class traditional ruler in Rivers State, King Aaron Ikuru who was kidnapped over a month ago has regained his freedom.

Ikuru, the traditional ruler of Ikuru town in Andoni Local Government Area was kidnapped from his palace on February 21, the same day a senior lecturer in the department of linguistics and communications studies at the University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Jones Ayuwo was abducted by gunmen on his way back from a function in the same local government area.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct UNIPORT Lecturer, Rivers Traditional Ruler

While Dr. Ayuwo was released two weeks ago, the traditional ruler was only released last night.

The monarch’s spokesperson, Maurice Ikuru confirmed the release to Channels Television on Sunday via a telephone conversation.

According to Ikuru, the monarch was released unconditionally.

But when contacted via the phone, the spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, did not pick up his call, neither did he reply text message sent to confirm the release.

Wife Of NIMET Official Abducted In Plateau Regains Freedom

A screengrab taken on March 26, 2021, shows the apartment where the victim was abducted in Plateau State.

 

The woman kidnapped by a group of gunmen at the staff quarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Plateau State has regained freedom.

The Commissioner of Police in Plateau State, Edward Egbuka, confirmed the release of Mrs Victoria Rabo to Channels Television on Friday in Jos, the state capital.

Victoria, the wife of a staff member of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) at the airport, was abducted from the FAAN staff quarters in the Heipang area of the state on Thursday night.

According to Egbuka, the victim was released at about 7pm a day after she was kidnapped following the pressure mounted on the abductors in the bush since the incident happened.

The NIMET official, Ayuba Rabo, also confirmed the release of his wife to Channels Television after she was reunited with her family.

He thanked the security agencies, as well as members and management staff of the airport for their concerns and intervention in securing the release of his wife.

A signpost is seen at the airport in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

 

However, neither the police commissioner nor the victim’s husband disclosed if any ransom was paid to her abductors before she was released.

Victoria was released after her abductor had contacted her family to demand the sum of N10 million as ransom.

They were said to have contacted the family through Ayuba who said the family members were struggling to get the money to secure her release.

Narrating his ordeal Ayuba said he had escaped from the abductors and hid in a nearby bush, only for the gunmen to abduct his wife.

During the attack, the assailants also invaded the apartment of NIMET manager at the airport, Raha Umar.

A screengrab taken on March 26, 2021, shows a signpost of FAAN at the airport in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

 

However, they were unable to kidnap her as she escaped through the rear door before the gunmen could gain entry into the apartment.

The vast and open land within the airport has been a security concern to members of staff residing in the staff quarters.

They decried the delay in the reconstruction of the perimeter fence at the facility following a security breach in July 2020.

Three Doctors Abducted In Kwara

Kwara is a state in Western Nigeria
Kwara is a state in Western Nigeria

 

Gunmen have abducted three veterinary doctors at their commercial poultry farms in Pampo village of Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State.

Confirming the incident on Wednesday to Channels Television, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi said the incident happened around the Eyenkonrin area.

While noting that the police operatives were on the trail of the kidnappers, Okasanmi said one of the three kidnapped doctors who escaped alerted the police.

READ ALSO: Hijab: We Will Be Fair, Courageous In Taking Decisions – Kwara Gov

On whether the kidnappers were dressed in military uniforms, the police spokesperson said that does not matter.

He also assured that the remaining two victims will soon regain freedom.

Okasanmi however could not confirm if the abductors have made contact with the families of the two victims.

Again, Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of Four Victims

Some of the released victims in Zamfara State on March 23, 2021.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has again secured the release of four kidnap victims without ransom.

The victims who had been in captivity for 49 days said they were abducted in Boko community of Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.

Among them is a District Head and a serving Councillor in Zurmi Local government area of the state

This comes barely three weeks after the state government facilitatade the release of 10 abducted residents of the state.

It is however not clear whether a ransom was paid to the bandits before the victims were released.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Announces Release Of 10 Abducted Victims

On March 9, the state government through the Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran, announced that the victims who had been in captivity for over three months and two weeks abducted in the Gwaram community of Talata Mafara Local Government Area of the state.

Among them are three men, including the father of one of the abducted Jangebe School Girls, four women and three children.

Dauran, said they were rescued without ransom through the peace initiative of the state government.

He explained that the state government will continue with the peace dialogue, noting it is paving way for lasting peace in the state.

Kaduna Kidnap: College Of Forestry Shut Till Further Notice  

 

The Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in Kaduna State has been shut down and the students asked to leave the school.

This comes after Friday’s attack by bandits on the school where over 200 students were kidnapped.

However, 180 of them were rescued by troops of the Nigerian army and were returned to the school from the Ribadu military cantonment in the state capital and reunited with their families.

Thirty-nine students are still in captivity.

Meanwhile, the abducted students in Kaduna have called for help in a disturbing video.

The abducted students were seen being beaten by their captors, as they pleaded with the government to rescue them.

They were seen huddled together and sitting on tree leaves, with gun-wielding men, some of them dressed in military uniform, keeping watch over them.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Invade Kaduna School, Abduct Students

The Kaduna State Government had put the number of those abducted at 39.

Following the abduction, security forces said they have stepped up efforts to rescue the college students.

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed an early end to the hostage crisis.

Gunmen abducted the 39 students from their hostels in northwestern Kaduna state late Thursday, the latest in a series of such attacks.

The military managed to rescue 180 others after a fierce battle at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando at the outskirts of the state capital, Kaduna city.

APGA, APC Chieftains In War Of Words Over Payments To Bandits

 

The chieftains of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State on Tuesday engaged each other in a war of words over offering payments to bandits in order not to release the Jangebe schoolgirls.

While APGA’s Abdullah Shinkafi had accused the APC of paying N57 million to ensure the continued captivity of the students, the party’s Chairman in the state, Lawan Liman debunked the allegation.

Both politicians appeared as guests during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The bandits in their hideouts made mention that some strong APC politicians in Zamfara State had offered them N57 million to sabotage the release of the abducted innocent girls,” Shinkafi said.

“It is very unfortunate and there is evidence to link them up with it. When the state is in sorrow and grievous shock, people are busy celebrating because they went and took an ordinary party membership card.”

But this allegation did not go down well with the APC chairman who vowed that the party would take some necessary step.

He however did not indicate whether the steps included suing the APGA chieftain and his party before a competent court of law.

The APC boss also challenged the APGA chieftain to mention the names of politicians said to have been linked to the abduction of the schoolgirls.

READ ALSO: Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun Receives COVID-19 Vaccine

Liman said, “This claim is a careless statement that I expected Abdullahi Shinkafi to mention names. You cannot just come to a national TV and accusing that you suspect. Why can’t you mention names,” said.

A photo combination of the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State, Lawan Liman and chieftain of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Abdullah Shinkafi during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on March 9, 2021.

 

“This is a serious matter which we have called for several times that this issue should not be politicised because APC being the strongest political party in Zamfara State has always been advising.

“We will take serious action against it and we want you to come out and mention names. We will never be part of this,” he added.

For the APC chairman, some elements were collaborating with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state to cover up for what he described as non-performance.

He noted that security agencies have gathered intelligence on the matter, noting that truth would prevail soon.

The Jangebe schoolgirls however secured their freedom on March 2 after spending about four days in captivity.

The girls’ kidnapping on February 26 was the latest in a series of school abductions that has rocked the country in the past three months.

Gunmen Abduct 25 Persons In Fresh Attacks On Niger Local Govts

Chief Imam’s Son, Two Others Kidnapped In Ogun Community
File photo of a gunman wearing bullets

 

Gunmen have abducted no fewer than 25 persons in both Wushishi and Rafi Local Government Areas of Niger State.

According to the residents of the community, the armed men invaded the Kutuku community in Wushshi Local Government Area around 10 am on Monday.

They were said to have shot sporadically in the air to scare away residents after which about 20 persons including women and under-aged children were abducted.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 113 Funseekers At Ajao Estate, Victoria Island Nightclubs

Meanwhile, five persons were abducted by the bandits in the Rafi local government area of the state while several other persons were injured at the Panku Gari council area.

An eye witness said the bandits, who were well armed with dangerous weapons, carried out their operation in broad daylight without fear or favor.

But the state authorities, including the police, are yet to comment on the attack.