Army rescues 52 kidnapped victims

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  • 66 handed over to Sokoto State govt

No fewer than 52 men and women kidnapped victims were at the weekend rescued in Isa Local Government of Sokoto State by the North-West Operation Hadarin Daji troops of the Joint Task Force.

A statement issued at the weekend with photos shared on the official handle of the Nigerian Army confirmed the rescue.

The statement said: “The feat was recorded on December 22, 2023 when troops cleared and destroyed terrorists’ enclaves at Saruwa, Kubuta, Gundumi villages and Bunwanga Gundumi forest in Isa Local Government of Sokoto State.

“During the operation, the troops of OPHD rescued 52 kidnap victims, while several terrorists were neutralised.  

“The rescued victims include 14 men, 32 women and six children, who will undergo medical check-up, debrief and will be handed over to the appropriate authorities to reunite them with their families.”

The Army has handed over 66 victims rescued from bandits and kidnappers to the Sokoto State Government.

The development followed a successful operation at Gundumi forest in Sokoto by the Army.

The Garrison Commander 8 Division, Brig.-Gen. Amos Tawasimi, said 51 of them were rescued last Friday, while others were rescued on Saturday.

“The operation is part of our resilient activities to ensure the state is safe for people to go about their activities.

“We stormed Gundumi forest three days ago to rescue these people. Some of them have been abducted for months by kidnappers.”

Brig.-Gen. Tawasimi hailed Governor Aliyu Sokoto for his support to security agencies.  He said his men would continue to live up to expectation towards freeing Sokoto from the menace.

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Receiving the victims, Governor Sokoto hailed the Army and other security agencies for their efforts and commitment in tackling insecurity.

He said: “Today marks another milestone in our fight against armed banditry, kidnapping and rustling in the state, as our security operatives have succeeded in rescuing 66 victims, who were kidnapped from villages and communities in Sokoto and other neighbouring states.

“From what we have gathered, 51 of the victims were rescued on Thursday, while 14 on Saturday.

“A few weeks ago, 51 victims were rescued after our gallant soldiers dislodged these criminals from their hideouts around Tangaza forest in Tangaza Local Government.

“This is indeed a commendable effort by our security operatives, especially members of Operation Hadarin Daji to rid our state of banditry, kidnapping, rustling and other forms of criminality, in line with the commitment of this government to restore peace to our dear state and ensure our people living in camps across the state return to their communities and live a normal life devoid of any fear of attack or kidnapping.

“As you may recall, security of lives and property is a priority of our government. Hence, the regular security meetings being convened with heads of security agencies since coming on board.

“This is in addition to the necessary support and logistics we give to security operatives in order to ensure they discharge their constitutional responsibilities in the state with ease.”

The governor said the government had in the last three days handed over 80 new patrol vehicles to security agencies.

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“Alhamdulillah, the House of Assembly has passed into law a bill on the establishment of community guards, who will assist conventional security operatives in securing their communities.

“These and other measures taken by this administration, which we don’t want to disclose to the public, are part of our efforts to end the menace of armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in our state.”

He assured the people that his administration will not relent until the state is fully secured.

In his usual spirit of extending gesture, Governor Sokoto donated a bag of rice, millet and maize in addition to N100,000 each to the rescued victims, as they reunite with their families.

The former governor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, who handed over the relief items to the victims, also announced the donation of N100,000 each to them to enable them buy drugs and other items.

Praising the state government for identifying with the victims, Wamakko, the leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, also pledged to support security agencies in the eight local governments of Sokoto East Senatorial District with Toyota Hilux each for operations.

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