Okon Bassey in Uyo
A team of security operatives yesterday rescued a staff of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and eight other persons, who were abducted by kidnappers in Akwa Ibom State about three months ago.
The victims, comprising two men and seven women, were rescued from the den of kidnappers in Iwukem in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of the state.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi disclosed the release of the victims at a news conference he addressed at the state police command, Ikot Akpan-Abia, Uyo yesterday.
At the conference, the police commissioner noted that the victims had been in the custody of the kidnappers for about three months.
He said the victims were rescued by men of a joint task force code named “Operation Purge” specially stationed in the Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun Local Government Areas to checkmate cult and militant activities in the areas.
THISDAY checks revealed that none of the kidnappers were arrested during the rescue mission as the latest operation occurred two weeks during which two of the notorious kidnappers were killed and five persons rescued.
Ogunjemilusi said: “am happy to inform you that at about 12.00 pm, my men of ‘Operation Purge’ saddled with the responsibility of flushing out the hoodlums terrorising Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs achieved a great breakthrough with the rescue of nine kidnapped victims, one of whom is the staff of the INEC.”
He also said the police squad had recovered rifle, uniform and bullet proof vests collected by the kidnappers from one of the gallant officers, Sgt Shedrach Stephen and a military personnel murdered at Iwukem, Etim Ekpo LGA on August 16.
He added that two officers were murdered when they went for rescueoperation of a young boy, Master Joseph Monday Udoh Idung, of Ikot Inyang Abia in Ukanafun LGA and an unknown young lady presently in comma.
He reassured the people of the Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs of the commitment of the state police command to restore peace and security in the communities and other community in the state.
He commended the state government and the citizens for their support to the Nigeria Police as well as sister security agencies towards reducing crime to barest minimum in the state.