By G9ija

Major Stephen Datong abducted by bandits

The rescue was carried out by a combined team of troops of the Nigerian Army, Airforce and other security agencies.

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col Ezindu Idimah, said in a statement issued in Kaduna that the officer, initially reported killed, was rescued in the late hours of Friday, Sept.17.

He said the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs had earlier issued a directive after the abduction of the officer, that he be rescued and his abductors, fished out.

The spokesperson said sequel to the directive, the 1 Division, in conjunction with the Air Task Force, Department of State Services and other security agencies, swung into action by conducting operations in the Afaka general area of Kaduna, to locate and rescue the officer.

He explained that the operations were conducted based on several leads received from various sources regarding the abductors, and likely locations the officer was held.

Idimah stated that the operations were sustained since the abduction of the officer, resulting in the destruction of several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari general area, and the neutralization of scores of bandits, particularly in the late hours of Sept 17.

He said upon arrival at a camp suspected to be the location where Datong was being held, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits and in the process, the abducted officer was rescued.

However, he said the officer sustained a minor injury, but had 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 officers in the NDA on 24 August 2021,” Idimah said.

The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Maj. Bashir Jajira, also confirmed the rescue of the officer.

On 24 Aug, the NDA was attacked with two officers killed and one other, abducted.