Obaseki visits 12 rescued kidnap victims, hails security officers
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, visited 12 rescued kidnapped victims, abducted from the Igueben Train Station in Edo State, assuring them government would leave no stone unturned in securing the release of the two remaining hostages.
The governor visited the rescued victims at Police Cottage Hospital in Benin City, where they had been taken to for tests and rehabilitation after their rescue.
He hailed the crack team, made up of various security agencies in the state, including hunters and members of Edo State Security Network.
He noted that their gallantry and tactfulness proved instrumental to the success recorded.
While the crack team rescued 12 of the victims, there are still two victims held by the abductors.
However, the Police arrested some of the abductors during the operations, who are now being questioned and assisting the security team to track their colleagues.
Obaseki called on relevant authorities to investigate the negligence of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which led to the kidnap at Igueben Train Station.
He said: “How will the corporation deploy just one policeman to guard the Igueben train station after recording a kidnap incident in Kaduna.
“I must express our disappointment at the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation because after the Kaduna incident, you would expect that they would have secured their facilities better. Six men came into their facility to kidnap people. This is something that has to be investigated.
“I believe the corporation knows what it’s doing and should be investigated and ensure such incidents should not happen to any Nigerian again.”
The governor said information indicted some traditional rulers in the area, who have disobeyed government directives against open grazing as they still harbour herders in their communities.
“We have information that some traditional rulers in that area have not obeyed government’s decision to discourage open grazing by herders in their forests.
“I have instructed that those traditional rulers should be investigated and anyone found to be harbouring herders will have questions to answer because that was what led to this incident. Communities that obeyed don’t have such incidents in their domain.”
Asked if ransom was paid to secure the release of the victims, Obaseki said: “No money was paid for their release. Our special forces overpowered the kidnappers and rescued 12 persons and the kidnappers ran away with two victims.
Obaseki commended security operatives involved in the joint rescue operation.
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Dankwara, said the kidnappers operated at the Ugboha and Udo forests, where special security forces laid ambush for them for over a week.
One of the rescued victims, Christian Iyere, commended Edo State government and security agencies that collaborated to rescue them.
Another victim, identified as Aguele Betrice, said the rescue operation was timely, as it has saved their lives and freed their families and loved ones from trauma.