An Army major, Stephen Dantong, who was abducted at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, has regained freedom after about three weeks in the custody of bandits.
In a statement by the deputy spokesperson of the Defence Headquarters, Ezindu Idimah, the senior officer was rescued following collaborative efforts by security agents.
Mr Dantong was abducted three weeks ago during an attack at the Academy that left two officers dead.
There were speculations on social media that the senior officer was executed.
An online newspaper, FIJ Nigeria, reported that the kidnappers had requested a ransom of N200 million.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how suspected bandits attacked the academy and perpetrated the act.
According to witnesses, the bandits came in large numbers in the early hours of Tuesday.
Aside from the officers killed and kidnapped, some others sustained gunshot injuries and are currently receiving treatment at the NDA hospital.
The attack on the military facility came amidst heightened insecurity in the North-west with Kaduna State at the epicentre.
Hundreds of students have been kidnapped in various schools across Kaduna State in the past five months as the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai has stood his ground on his no ransom payment policy.
In the statement on Saturday, the Defence headquarters said its men engaged the bandits in superior gunfire before rescuing the officer.
Read the full statement:
TROOPS RESCUE MAJOR CL DATONG
Following the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for 1 Division Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and all security agencies to conduct decisive operations to rescue Major CL Datong who was abducted at Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Permanent Site on 24 August 2021 and find the perpetrators dead or alive, the Division in conjunction with the Air Task Force, Department of State Services and other security agencies, immediately swung into action by conducting operations in the Afaka general area to find and rescue the officer. The operations were being conducted based on several leads received from various sources regarding the abductors and likely locations the officer was being held.
The operations which have been sustained since the abduction of the officer proved quite successful and led to the destruction of several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari general area and neutralization of scores of bandits particularly, in the late hours of today, 17 September, 2021, the troops arrived at a camp suspected to be the location where Maj CL Datong was being held. At the camp, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits for overwhelmed them superior fire. In the process, the gallant troops were able to rescue the abducted officer. However, the officer sustained a minor injury but has been treated in a medical facility and handed over to NDA for further action.
The Division wishes to commend the efforts of the NAF, DSS , Nigerian Police and patriotic Nigerians for their invaluable support which contributed to the success of this operation. Our operations will continue until we capture or neutralize the assailants that killed two (2) officers in the NDA on 24 August 2021.
Deputy Director Army Public Relations
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