Nigeria

Abducted NDA officer rescued after 24 days

The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) says it has postponed the screening test for its 72 Regular Course schedule to hold on May 30, adding that a new date will be communicated.

The Nigerian Army has rescued Major Christopher Datong, the senior military officer abducted at the Nigerian Defence Academy’s permanent site in Kaduna on August 24.

A statement issued on Saturday by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col. Ezindu Idimah, said Maj. Datong was rescued on Friday night through inter-agency collaborations.

Newsmen had reported that bandits attacked the NDA, Kaduna, on August 24, 2021, killing two officers, injuring one other, while Datong was abducted.

Idimah said the rescue operation followed a directive issued by the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs 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 said operations were conducted based on several leads received from various sources regarding the abductors, and likely locations the officer was held.

The statement said: “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.”

Maj. Christopher Datong sustained a minor injury, according to the report, and he is currently being treated.

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