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Insecurity: NSA receives 22 rescued Zamfara varsity students, staff

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.Wike empowers vigilance groups, security agencies with motorcycles

… Directs that motorcycles must serve rural areas 

 

Favour Ishember, Abuja

 

The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday, received 22 students and staff members of the Federal University of Gusau in Zamfara State rescued on Sunday.

 

Bandits had on September 2023 invaded the institution and abducted over 30 students and staff members.

 

Seven of the students were rescued while two escaped

 

On Sunday, the remaining students were rescued by security forces.

 

Speaking while receiving the students in Abuja, the NSA appreciated the security operatives for rescuing the students “without losing anyone of them or paying any ransom.”

 

He said, “On behalf of the President, I thank all those involved in the successful rescue of the victims without losing anyone of them or paying any ransom.

 

“This is yet again a success story in our efforts to free all those being unlawfully held in captivity.

 

 

“We have so far released over a thousand such victims without noise and with complete respect to their privacy and safety.

 

“This occasion marks a final juncture in a series of rescues we have undertaken in the last few months, to free victims of recent cases of mass abductions.

 

“Going forward, we are strengthening law enforcement and security measures to prevent these abductions, and strengthen physical security across vulnerable communities.”

 

Ribadu urged them not to allow their experience to break them, but should rather make them stronger.

 

The NSA also thanked the parents of the rescued victims for their patience and understanding during the period and commended security agencies for their tireless work and sacrifices.

 

Earlier, the National Coordinator, National Counter-terrorism Center, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka(retd) said search and rescue operations conducted by security agencies led to the release of the students in three batches.

 

He said, “Search and rescue was conducted by a combined team of law enforcement agencies, and the abductees were subsequently released in three batches, after 207 days in captivity.

 

“The first batch was rescued on March 15, the second batch was rescued on April 12, and the last batch was rescued on April 14.

 

“All the abductees were profiled at NCTC while the ONSA Medical Team examined them and administered minor treatments on the bruises sustained by three of the abductees.

 

“Four of them were diagnosed with malaria and are being treated. None of the females was molested and all the females tested negative for pregnancy test.”

However,In an effort to consolidate on the successes recorded in the fight against kidnappers in the nation’s capital City , Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Barr. Nyesom Wike has handed over 60 motorcycles to the Vigilance Group of Nigeria VGN.

 

Issuing a stern warning  during the handover of 100 motorcycles to Area Councils and Security agencies , the Minister emphasized that the motorcycles must not disappear into thin air once received by the agencies.

 

Wike also gave 30 motorcycles to the Nigeria Police and five each to the Department of State Services DSS and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC.

 

The minister warned that the motorcycles must not be used in the townships but in hard-to-reach parts of suburb in Abuja, to fight insecurity.

 

The Minister, who charged the VGN to utilize the motorcycles to assist the Police and other security agencies in combating crimes particularly in the rural areas of the FCT, expressed appreciation to the group for its selfless sacrifices to secure lives and property in the nation’s capital.

 

In the wordsof the Minister: “Remember that security agencies requested for specialized motorcycles that will be used particularly in the rural areas. The vigilance teams will use them in the six Area Councils, and then the Police, the SSS, and the Civil Defence will also want to do theirs.

 

“Let me caution, particularly to the security agencies, I don’t want to hear stories tomorrow that the motorcycles are nowhere to be found again. I don’t want to hear such stories, because sometimes when you give out vehicles, before you knew it, the vehicles are no more there. Please utilize these motorcycles to fight crimes in the areas you have identified. Ordinarily, the Chairmen of the Area Councils ought to handle this, but this is our support to them in the councils.

 

“Make sure that these motorcycles are given out to the vigilance teams, and we are going to provide logistics for those who are going to use these motorcycles. We are going to provide logistics for them. We have promised the residents of Abuja and the Area Councils that security is a priority for the Renewed Hope Agenda. Anything we can do to protect lives and properties; we are going to do it. So, I urge you to use it well, and take it not for commercial purposes. I don’t want to see the motorcycles in the city here. It should be used in the rural areas, so, they should not be used here.

 

“We are already trying to see how we can phase out motorcycles here, so please let it be taken to the rural areas. All the security agencies, the outposts, give it to them. We do not want to continue to hear excuses that the terrain is so bad, they require this and that and they have not been given. Now that you have been given, these may not be enough, we will continue to provide more.

 

“For vehicles, we believe by the next two weeks, the vehicles would have been ready to give out to the security agencies. For us, we will not relent until those who say we will not sleep, they too will also not sleep”.

 

Wike reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to prioritize security, promising continued support to safeguard lives and properties; as he emphasized that the motorcycles were not for commercial purposes and should be exclusively used for security operations in rural areas.

 

Furthermore, the Minister announced plans to phase out motorcycles in the city center and instructed security agencies to distribute the motorcycles to their outposts accordingly. He warned that any misuse of the motorcycles would result in their retrieval.

 

In his response, Commandant General of the Vigilance Group of Nigeria VGN, Navy Captain Abubakar Bakori Umar(retd), commended the Minister for donating operational motorcycles to the group to enhance community security in the six Area Councils of the nation’s capital.

 

While thanking Wike for the good gesture, the VGN boss assured the Minister that the operational motorcycles given to the group will be judiciously deployed to enhance and strengthen rural security in the FCT.

 

The Commandant General noted that officers and men of the VGN are well trained and are embedded in the communities and rural areas across the country where they assist the police and other security agencies with vital intelligence resulting in successful counter insurgency operations.

 

With the patrol motorcycles, the CG assured the minister and residents that they will enhance the operations and efficiency of VGN operatives while the incident response time will also be greatly reduced.

 

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