Benue State Troops Heroically Rescue Seven Kidnapped Victims
In a swift and successful operation, troops from Exercise Enduring Peace III have rescued seven individuals who had been kidnapped in Ogumula village, located within the Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State. This operation unfolded within a remarkable timeframe, taking place less than 24 hours after local youths in Ohimini LGA staged a protest by blocking the Otukpo-Adoka-Owerto federal highway. Their demonstration was in response to the recurring incidents of kidnapping along this critical road.
One of the protesters, Edache Ochojila, revealed earlier that, just days prior, a staggering 11 commuters had fallen victim to abductions along the same route. He highlighted that the protest had been spurred by the actions of the police, who had apprehended a suspected kidnapper that the local youth had captured.
The rescued victims, a total of seven, were liberated through a coordinated effort led by Joseph Har, the Security Adviser to Governor Hyacinth Alia. This initiative involved troops from the 72nd Battalion and the 401st Brigade, who acted upon credible intelligence provided by Har. His information had pinpointed the movements of kidnappers in the vicinity of the Igaji general area. Promptly, the troops from Exercise Enduring Peace III mobilized and executed a successful rescue operation.
During the operation, the troops were assisted by the Civilian Joint Task Force, working in close cooperation. As a result of their determined efforts, seven individuals were safely rescued from the clutches of their captors.
Joseph Har emphasized that the criminals fled upon encountering the formidable presence of the troops, ultimately leaving behind the individuals they had abducted. The rescued victims include James Ebeh, 19 years old, Mary Ejeh, 40, Flora Alfa, 32, Mary John, 27, Ogumula Sunday, 18, Fidelis Ogumala, 55, and Stephen Onihi, 43.
Following their rescue, the victims were entrusted to the care of Chief Peter Ottoh Adakola, the village head, in the presence of the youth leader, Iduma Fidelis, and others. They were then transported to the general hospital in Otukpo for medical evaluation and care.
This heroic rescue operation occurred between the hours of 5 p.m. on October 9, 2023, when the victims were initially kidnapped in Ogumula village, and 6 a.m. on October 13, 2023, when they were safely liberated.
Joseph Har, in his statement, urged the community to remain composed and assured the public that these troops are committed to eradicating crime and criminal activities within the state. He emphasized the dedication of the state government, under the leadership of Governor Hyacinth Alia, to safeguarding the lives and property of its residents. In closing, he issued a stern warning to those engaged in unlawful activities, urging them to renounce criminality as the consequences would be severe if they persisted.