With a sigh of relief, the Nigerian Army has announced the rescue one of its own, Major Christopher Datong, of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) from the clutches of bandits. He goes home to meet his lovely and pregnant wife, whose photo has featured prominently since his kidnap three weeks ago.
But the soldiers, working with State Security agents and others, did not free the officer without giving the daredevi bandits a fatal bloody nose, killing scores of them.
Datong was slightly injured, but has been attended to and handed over to the NDA, a spokesman of the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Colonel Ezindu Idimah, said in a statement on Saturday morning.
The full statement reads: “Following the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for 1 Division Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and all security agencies to conduct decisive operations to rescue Major CL Datong who was abducted at Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Permanent Site on 24 August 2021 and find the perpetrators dead or alive, the Division in conjunction with the Air Task Force, Department of State Services and other security agencies, immediately swung into action by conducting operations in the Afaka general area to find and rescue the officer. The operations were being conducted based on several leads received from various sources regarding the abductors and likely locations the officer was being held.
“The operations which have been sustained since the abduction of the officer proved quite successful and led to the destruction of several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari general area and neutralization of scores of bandits particularly, in the late hours of today, 17 September, 2021, the troops arrived at a camp suspected to be the location where Maj CL Datong was being held. At the camp, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits for overwhelmed them superior fire. In the process, the gallant troops were able to rescue the abducted officer. However, the officer sustained a minor injury but has been treated in a medical facility and handed over to NDA for further action.
“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 (2) officers in the NDA on 24 August 2021.”