Ten persons, including a nine year-old boy, were rescued on Monday morning in the Kuje Area Council of the FCT from a criminal gang which specialized in robbing, raping and kidnapping innocent citizens in the area.
The predawn raid on the kidnappers’ den in the mountainous and forested area of Kuje, was successfully executed in the joint operation involving 250 personnel of the Police Mobile Force, the Command Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Department of State Security (DSS), Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The operations – in two phases – involved a coordinated rescue mission by ground forces and Air Force in the mountainous range of Kuje that served as hideout for the criminals.
FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, at a media briefing, said two of the criminal gangsters were neutralized and their camp destroyed and secured by the police.
However, the operation resulted in a casualty as one of the rescuers from the Civil Defence Corps, Anumudu Uche, lost his life.
Bello said at the parley attended by FCT Police Commissioner, Mohammed Mustapha, FCT Director of DSS, Commandant of NSCDC, representative of the Nigerian Army Lt O.B Oyegoke and the Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Danladi Galadima, that all 10 rescued persons have been placed under the custody of the Village Head of Kuje, for immediaterehabilitation and ensure their union with their family.
The names of the rescued victims are given as: Fanus Emmanuel (M), Babangida Emmanuel (M), Akimmi Dauda (F), Japhet Kwasu (M), Dorcas Shuaibu (F), Kemu Cheik (F), Hamza Yunusa (M), Umar Godiri (M), Ismaila Yusuf (M) and Abubakar Gomo (M).
The FCT Minister said security agencies have set up a surveillance mechanism that will mitigate miscreants from operating within the entire 8,000 square kilometers of the Federal Capital Territory, while the isolated border areas of Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kaduna and parts of Plateau States are to be patrolled by joint security provided by governors of the states.“We will clear the entire forest to ensure safety. We want to assure the villagers that this does not happen again. The people of the area should report to the security agencies and the traditional institutions the presence of strange and suspicious people around them,” Musa said.
FCT Commissioner of Police Mustapha attributed greed for money as the motivation luring kidnappers into crime as robbery was no loonger lucrative.
“They are migrating from robbery to kidnapping and see forest and mountainous areas as safe haven because as a people, we have abandoned those areas, “ he lamented.