UPDATED: After 19 Months In Captivity, Police Rescue Zamfara Lawmaker’s Children

Zamfara Lawmakers Children

The Nigeria Police Force has announced the rescue of two children of a Zamfara State House of Assembly Lawmaker, Aminu Ardo who were abducted from Jangebe village, in the Talata Mafara Local Government Area (LGA) of Zamfara State in November 2022.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun disclosed this during a press briefing on Wednesday, in Abuja. The minor girls aged 10 and 12 along with their family members were present at the briefing.

The minor girls aged 10 and 12 had been in captivity for 19 months before they were rescued by a Joint Task Force of security operatives a few days ago.

The assailants riding on 60 motorcycles, abducted the minors with two other siblings and their pregnant mother, from the residence of the lawmaker.

The children: Maryam, Nana Asma’u, Ummul Khairi, and Abdulrazaq, and the mother, Hauwa’u were said to have been taken to an unknown forest in Katsina State.

While in captivity, the IGP said they endured “a harrowing journey by foot and motorcycle; these children were sustained on meagre rations of maize and salt, drinking water from a nearby stream.”

Hauwa’u was said to have also delivered a child under extremely harsh conditions, while in captivity, but the newborn did not survive.

The IGP said, “Despite the unbearable circumstances, Hauwa’u’s strength and resolve remained unbroken. One night, during the rainy season of 2023, she managed to unchain herself and escape with two of her children, Ummul Khairi and Abdulrazaq.

“However, Maryam and Nana Asma’u were left behind, still in the grip of their captors.”

The IGP revealed that the two minors were successfully rescued through a “strategic initiative stemming from leveraging advanced intelligence from our Force Intelligence Department and operational tactics from the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Katsina Command.”

The joint operation also involved tactical support from the Nigerian Airforce 215 FOB, Funtua, which led to the locating and safe rescue of these minors.

He noted that the crime of kidnapping, particularly when it involves innocent children, strikes at the very heart of our humanity and society.

He said, “It is a gross violation of human rights and a traumatic experience for the victims and their families.

“Under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, there has been a robust focus on security reforms aimed at enhancing the effectiveness and responsiveness of the country’s security architecture.

“While we celebrate this successful rescue, we remain acutely aware of the ongoing challenges in our fight against kidnapping and other forms of violent crimes.

“Let me emphasise that the Nigeria Police Force is more determined than ever to tackle kidnapping and other violent crimes head-on.

“Our zeal is evident in our relentless pursuit of criminals, our strategic deployment of resources, and our commitment to adopting the latest technologies and intelligence-gathering methods.

“We are resolute in our quest to dismantle criminal networks and ensure that justice is served leveraging on the dedication of our officers and intelligence sharing and synergy between the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies as well as timely support from the community.

“To the families affected by these crimes, we express our deepest sympathies and assurances that your pain is our pain.

“Your resilience in the face of such adversity inspires us to intensify our efforts. We stand with you, and we will continue to fight tirelessly to ensure that no child, no mother, no father, no family has to endure such horrors again.

“We wish to assure the citizenry that the Nigeria Police Force, under the leadership of IGP Egbetokun, in full collaboration with other law enforcement and security agencies, will not relent in its efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for all.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that every citizen, especially our children, can live without violence, and the fear of being victims of such crimes.

“We also wish to, most importantly, acknowledge and appreciate the leadership and coordinating role of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), for its strategic support that led to the success of this operation amongst many others.”