Two kidnapped NPC staff regain freedom

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By Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

 

Two staff of the National Population Commission (NPC) kidnapped in Dan Anacha, Gasol local government area of Taraba state have regained their freedom.

The NPC Commissioner in the state, Mallam Sani Sule Sale, on Wednesday said the commission had “negotiated with the kidnappers” before Zaradine Isa, NPC’s administrative officer and Gadafi Ali Shehu, an ad-hoc staff of the commission, were freed from their abductors.

Sale, who spoke to reporters in his office in Jalingo, however, did not disclose how much ransom the commission paid the kidnappers.

The victims (Isa and Shehu) are part of the team carrying out the NPC’s routine Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise in Gassol, in preparation for the national census.

The victims, who shared their experience with reporters, said they were taken into the bush at gunpoint at about 3:45 p.m on Friday.

The Nation gathered that a huge ransom cash was paid before they were released, after they were tortured for many days by their abductors.

Sale said: “The negotiation was a very long, tedious and stressful process, sometimes promising, sometimes times very frustrating.

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“Even after the agreement was reached for the kidnapped victims to be released on Monday, the kidnappers reneged on the agreement, necessitating further discussions and negotiations.

“At last, however, the commission and parents of the victims were able to meet the demands of the kidnappers and our colleagues were released last night,” the commissioner said.

One of the victims, Shehu, said: “We were kidnapped in Dan Anacha at gunpoint by two armed men riding a motorcycle.

“The kidnappers picked us while we were going round carrying out a demarcation exercise.

“They forced us climbed the motorcycle, after they had tired our faces. Then, they took us to a place, which even now, we don’t know.

“We were manhandled during our stay in the kidnappers’s den, of which some of the things, we cannot disclose here.”

Police spokesman, David Misal, said the police have deployed an arm of the anti-kidnapping unit to Dan Anacha, since the day reports of abduction of the two NPC workers reached them.

Misal, a DSP, added that the police are working tirelessly to tackle the rate of kidnapping activities in Taraba state.