The Nigerian Army has confirmed the release of Maj. Christopher Datong, the officer abducted at the permanent site of Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna, on August 24.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col Ezindu Idimah, reported by the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday evening. The statement revealed that the officer regained his freedom late Friday.
The Army spokesperson revealed that the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs had earlier issued a directive after the abduction of the officer, that he be rescued and his abductors, fished out.
“Sequel to the directive, the 1 Division, in conjunction with the Air Task Force, Department of State Services and other security agencies, swung into action by conducting operations in the Afaka general area of Kaduna, to locate and rescue the officer,” he said.
The statement revealed operations were conducted based on several leads received from various sources regarding the abductors, and likely locations the officer was held.
“Operations were sustained since the abduction of the officer, resulting in the destruction of several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari general area, and the neutralization of scores of bandits, particularly in the late hours of September 17.
“Upon arrival at a camp suspected to be the location where Datong was being held, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits and in the process, the abducted officer was rescued.
“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.
“Our operations will continue until we capture or neutralize the assailants that killed two officers in the NDA on 24 August 2021,” Idimah said.
Maj. Christopher Datong sustained a minor injury according to the report but he is currently being treated.
What you should know
On August 24, 2021, bandits attacked the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA), Kaduna, killing two officers and abducting another senior officer.