DHQ says search ongoing as bandits hold military officer hostage for over 36 hours

Over 36 hours after daring bandits invaded the country’s foremost military institution, the Nigerian Defence Academy, Afaka, Kaduna, killing two officers and kidnapping one, the Defence Headquarters says search and rescue of the abducted officer is still on.

It had earlier been reported that gunmen wearing army uniforms around 1 am on Tuesday attacked the NDA campus in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The bandits, who broke the fence of the institution, had headed in different parts of the premises and caught the officers on duty off guard.

Two officers lost their lives in the attack while the fate of the kidnapped officer delicately hangs in the balance.

The officers killed by the gunmen were Lieutenant Commander Wulah and Flight Lieutenant Commander Okoronkwo; while one Major Christopher Datong was said to be missing.

Online reports have it that the bandits have contacted the family of Datong and have demanded some millions of naira as ransom but the development cannot been confirm as of the time of filing this report.

Following Tuesday’s attack, many Nigerians had taken to social media to expressed deep anger at the affront by bandits, who have become emboldened in their attacks against the military after shooting down a Nigerian Air Force jet earlier in July.

The military authorities, who were apparently embarrassed by the invasion, had started compiling the names of errant personnel to be court-martialed.

In a statement on Wednesday by Director, Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, the DHQ said it has constituted a board of enquiry on the embarrassing incident.

Sawyerr said, “Let me use this opportunity, to reiterate that the NDA authorities, acting on the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff has constituted a board of enquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate cause(s) of the breach of security to sanction any personnel found culpable and also prevent future occurrence.

“Let me also assure (Nigerians) that we shall continue to update the general public as events unfold as we are all aware the search and rescue of the abducted officer is still on. Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue with its operations to ensure all those involved in the dastardly act are brought to justice.”

With all military formations and institutions present in the state, Kaduna has perhaps been the worst hit by the nefarious activities of bandits in recent times.

According to the official statistics by Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration, the vicious marauders killed at least 525 innocent lives, kidnapped 1,723 between January and June 2021.

Beyond Kaduna, kidnapping has become a sordid menace and a lucrative ‘enterprise’ in Nigeria as the West African nation’s security situation worsens.

Aside from the kidnapping of students from schools, hundreds of Nigerians have also fallen victims to kidnappers in recent times. Their families have had to part with millions of naira to secure their release after days or even weeks of excruciating pains and agony. However, some families have not been so lucky as the daredevil kidnappers rape and kill their victims even after receiving millions of naira as ransom.

The Senate had proposed a bill seeking to prohibit the payment and receipt of ransom for the release of any person kidnapped, imprisoned or wrongfully confined.

According to the bill, Nigerians who pay ransom to kidnappers and kidnappers who receive ransom risk 15 years imprisonment.

But many Nigerians had flayed the upper chamber and described the bill as stupid. They noted that the National Assembly should instead focus on ensuring they make laws that guarantee adequate security for every Nigerian.

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