• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Edo train attack: Police say rescued victims now 18, two in captivity

Edo train attack: Nursing mother, 5 other victims rescued

Operatives of the Edo State police command on Sunday said 12 more persons who were among the 20 victims abducted during the Igueben train attack had been rescued, bringing the total number of freed victims to 18.

Mohammed Dankwara, commissioner of police in the state, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, however, said the remaining two persons, who are staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), are still being held captive by the kidnappers.

Dankwara, while assuring that collaborative efforts are in place to rescue others unhurt, explained that officers of the force were able to free the 12 victims through a joint operation following intelligence report.

The Edo State police boss added that the twelve victims, who were rescued at Ugboha forest in Esan South East local government area of the state, comprised eight females and four males.

He listed their names to include “Eunice Eseba (f), 56; Marian Mowoe (F), 28; Faith Smart (f), 42; Precious Egwuje (f), 28; Obehi Omaben (f), 39; Amm Benson (f), 42; Favour Akungo (f),18; Aguele Beatrice (f), 42; Akhimien Ehiemamen (M), 48; Christian Iyere (m), 33; Emmanuel Esieba (m), 67 and Iyoha Julius (m), 25”.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki has visited the 12 rescued kidnapped victims, assuring that the government will leave no stone unturned in securing the release of the two remaining hostages.

The governor, who visited the rescued victims at the Police Cottage Hospital in Benin City, where they had been taken for tests and rehabilitation after the rescue operation, said some of the abductors were arrested during the operation and are now being questioned and assisting the security team to trail their colleagues.

He, however, berated the authorities of the Railway Corporation whom he said failed to provide improved security at the various train stations after the Kaduna incident.

“After the Kaduna incident, you would have expected that they would secure their facility better; and for gunmen to have come in to their facilities and kidnapped people is something that has to be investigated as it doesn’t give confidence to the people that they would be safe using their facilities,” he said.

Obaseki also blamed traditional rulers in the area who he said disregarded government’s decision to ensure that grazing opportunity are not given to herders in their forests.

“I have instructed that the matter should be investigated and anyone found to be harbouring people they should not harbour in their domain would have questions to answer. We don’t have this incident in communities that have cooperated with us on the directive”, he added.

The governor, therefore, hailed the crack team made up of various security agencies in the state, hunters and members of the Edo State Security Network, noting that their gallantry and tactfulness proved instrumental to the success recorded.