The leadership of the Joint Task Force, JTF, deployed to the Niger Delta has said its troops have freed two kidnap victims in a raid carried out at creeks in Brass and Ekeremor local government areas of Bayelsa State.
Commander of the JTF, Suleman Apochi, a Naval Rear Admiral, told newsmen in Yenagoa that the troops also recovered arms and ammunition in the rescue operation which took place during the weekend.
According to Apochi, three AK 47 riffles, three pistols, a medium calibre 12 mm gun as well as several rounds of ammunition were recovered from the kidnappers den during the raid He however said that one of the rescued kidnap victims sustained gunshot injuries during the shootout with the militants who later abandoned their camps due to superior firepower of the troops.
He added that the injured victim is currently receiving medical attention at a medical facility and is in a stable condition.
One of the freed victims, Sulaiman Yinusa, was kidnapped at Abonima in Rivers while returning from a business trip to Aba.
He said he had spent 50 days in the creeks where their abductors kept them.
Yinusa said: “I remain eternally grateful to God for my rescue by the joint military force, it was God’s making, they had killed many hostages before two of us were freed, especially those that their relations cannot come up with the ransom demanded.
“They had demanded N10 million and my people cannot even raise N1 million, they negotiated ransom down to N100,000 but my people could not raise the money.
“They had told me that I will be killed today Wednesday (but) as God would have it we were freed last Sunday, that is God at work, I am so proud of Nigerian military,” the elated victim said.
The JTF commander, Apochi, further said that the military will continue its clearance operation in Southern Ondo to rid the area of criminals.
“We were vindicated when the Ondo State Governor visited the creeks in Southern Ondo following results that troops had sacked residents and destroyed houses, it was evident that no houses were torched as erroneously reported,” he said.
“We are after the criminals and we are raiding their hideouts and we need the support of the people to isolate the criminals, in the ongoing operation.”