BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Nigeria Police high command has said that its covert operation to locate and rescue its nine officers that were abducted by bandits in military uniforms commenced immediately they were discovered missing en-route to their destination.
The Police in a statement by its Force Police Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba explained that its apparent delay in commenting on the unfortunate incident was a deliberate decision aimed at protecting the integrity and confidentiality of the rescue operation and the concomitant safety of the officers.
DCP Mba said that preliminary investigation has shown that the attack on the commercial vehicle they were travelling with was an opportunistic crime as the officers were all traveling in mufti, unarmed and alongside other private citizens in the commercial vehicle.
The Force spokesman said that all the nine officers who earlier went missing on November 8, 2020 between Kankara town and Sheme in Katsina State were successfully rescued.
Mba explained that the abduction took place after the night commercial bus they were traveling in came under attack by heavily armed men, all dressed in Military Camouflage, but suspected to be bandits.
According to Mba; “The officers, all Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), were on their way to Gusau in Zamfara State from Maiduguri at the time of the incident.
“Two of the officers are currently receiving medical attention in a hospital, while the remaining seven are being debriefed.
“The total number of officers involved in the incident is nine (9) and not twelve (12) as previously, wrongly reported in some sections of the media”.
The Force spokesman said that follow-up investigation into the incident is still ongoing, adding that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, reassures Nigerians that the Force is working assiduously to ensure an improved safety and tactical presence of police personnel on the nation’s highways as the yuletide approaches.