Abductions: Armed Forces Efforts Grossly Affected By Belated Notifications – DHQ


The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says belated notification of abductions has hampered search and rescue efforts of the Armed Forces towards recovering kidnapped victims.

Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba disclosed this on Thursday while briefing defence correspondents on ongoing military operations across the country.

Of particular reference is the abduction, on 9th March, of 16 pupils (Almajiris) with a woman in Gada LGA of Sokoto State, which incident which took place about 0100hrs (1:00 am), but was not reported to troops until about 1500hrs (3:00 pm) of same day. The late reporting of the incident affected troops’ response time in the ongoing search and rescue effort.

As citizens all over the country express worry over the wanton mass kidnapping of students from Nigerian schools, experts opine that these incidents are indications that the country does not have control.

The kidnap of the Almajiris happened only a few days after nearly 300 students were abducted from a school in Kuriga community, in Kaduna State. The abductors of the Kuriga students and pupils have threatened to kill their hostages if a $622,000 ransom is not paid.

A similar incident occurred in January 2024, when 9 pupils were abducted in Ekiti State, alongside a teacher and the driver of their school bus, whose corpse was later found and recovered for burial. Reports had it that the pupils were released after a ransom of N15m was paid.

Buba in his address affirmed that the hostage situation is an extremely sensitive one which unfortunately is not unprecedented in the history of the ongoing war, adding that the “hostages are being held in locations that are difficult to get to, but not out of reach”… “No doubt, this is a difficult situation, but not one that is insurmountable”.

The Director further gave assurances that “getting these hostages back is very clearly on the top of our priorities. It is for this reason we have leveraged our international partners for support. Accordingly, they are providing the necessary support including intelligence that is giving us the advantage in dealing with the ugly situation”.

He therefore urged citizens to be circumspect when they see posts from these terrorist groups and their cohorts, particularly on social media, as these groups feed on the attention that they receive from the media to sway the populace. “We must be conscious of that and avoid being used directly or indirectly against our national interest”.

Buba disclosed that several leaders and commanders of these terrorist groups have been neutralised as a result of the troops’ onslaught and that they (terrorists) are intent on using these hostages as a human shield for their survival. “Nevertheless assured that we will not rest until the hostages are returned”, he vowed.

“As patriotic citizens, we must resist the temptation to celebrate posts from terrorists and enemies of the State. These are not good people, rather they are devils from the pit of hell. Consequently, if you find yourself celebrating terror, you’re wrong. Pure and simple”.

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