Five abducted officials of the state ministry for reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement (RRR) who were recently abducted by the Islamic State West African Province, ISWAP, in Borno State has reportedly regained their freedom.
The government officials were abducted in September by the Boko Haram faction while they were travelling between Maiduguri and Monguno.
Their freedom follows an intervention by Ms. Ummul-Kalthum Abdurrahman, the chief executive officer of Kalthum Foundation for Peace (KFP), days after a video of the government officials went viral pleading with the state government to come to their rescue.
According to a source, the five abductees were mistaken by the ISWAP members to be NGO workers.
The source said, “They initially thought the five abductees were staff of some NGOs.
“But they had to change their minds when they realised that they were only junior staffers – mostly labourers engaged by the ministry of RRR.”
Ms Kalthum confirmed to newsmen on Monday (today) that the five government officials were set free without any payment of ransom. She said; “All I know was that both the state government as well as the families of the abductees contacted us to assist.”
Her statement continued; “Later, we got a communication from the insurgents through some contacts, and they threatened to take their lives should we not act on time to save them. They informed us that they had agreed to spare their lives but that the amnesty would only last for some days.
“So, with the support of the state government, the DSS and the military, we were able to mobilise and move to the location they cited for us to meet them. They gave a strong warning never to allow any security personnel to come close to the point of receiving the freed abductee.”
“I do not know about where the insurgents had been keeping the abductees, but the Kareto area was just where they agreed to hand over the abductees.
“When we asked the abductees, they said they had travelled for several hours to get to that location. One of them said they took them far beyond the shores of Lake Chad.”
Confirming their freedom, the Borno State Chairperson of SEMA, Yabawa Kolo said, “Yes, they have released them, and we have just reunited them with their families. But you can follow up with the ministry of RRR for other details about the positive development.”
Meanwhile, former presidential aide, Reno Omokri, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to send operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, F-SARS to Borno State to fight Boko Haram terrorists.
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