By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja and AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna
Major CL Datong, who was abducted from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) by bandits 21 days ago, has been rescued by troops.
The mid-level officer was kidnapped after armed bandits breached the security at the NDA and killed two officers.
Narrating how he was rescued, the Nigerian Army in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Col. Ezindu Idimah, said the Nigerian Army worked in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and other security agencies for the decisive operation that rescued the Major.
It disclosed that after the destruction of several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari general area and neutralization of scores of bandits, troops arrived at a camp suspected to be the location where Maj CL Datong was being held.
“At the camp, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits and overwhelmed them with superior fire. In the process, the gallant troops were able to rescue the abducted officer,” the statement said.
According to the statement, “following the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for 1 Division Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and all security agencies to conduct decisive operations to rescue Major CL Datong who was abducted at Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Permanent Site on 24 August 2021, and find the perpetrators dead or alive, the Division in conjunction with the Air Task Force, Department of State Services and other security agencies, immediately swung into action by conducting operations in the Afaka general area to find and rescue the officer.
“The operations were being conducted based on several leads received from various sources regarding the abductors and likely locations the officer was being held.
“The operations, which have been sustained since the abduction of the officer proved quite successful and led to the destruction of several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari general area and neutralization of scores of bandits, particularly in the late hours of today, 17 September, 2021, the troops arrived at a camp suspected to be the location where Maj CL Datong was being held. At the camp, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits and overwhelmed them with superior fire.
“In the process, the gallant troops were able to rescue the abducted officer. However, the officer sustained a minor injury but has been treated in a medical facility and handed over to NDA for further action.
“The Division wishes to commend the efforts of the NAF, DSS, Nigerian Police and patriotic Nigerians for their invaluable support which contributed to the success of this operation.”
The statement also added that the military and other security agencies would intensify its joint operations until they capture or neutralise the assailants that killed two (2) officers in the NDA.
It will be recalled that bandits attacked the military academic institution on August 24 and abducted Major Datong after one Lt Cdr Wulah and Flt Lieutenant CM Okoronwo were shot dead, and a 2nd Lieutenant Onah was said to have sustained gunshot injury.