FACT-CHECK: NIGERIAN ARMY, NOT POLICE, CONDUCTED SUCCESSFUL RESCUE OF ABUJA KIDNAPPED VICTIMS
In a detailed fact-checking exercise, the Zagazola Makama has ascertained that recent reports claiming the involvement of the Nigeria Police Force in the rescue of kidnapped victims in Bwari are inaccurate. The operation, which took place on January 20, was exclusively carried out by the Nigerian Army's 197 Special Forces Battalion, contradicting the police's narrative of events.
Troops involved in the operation have provided a comprehensive account backed with pictorial evidence embedded with coordinate data of the rescue mission near Gurara Dam in Kachia LGA, which was based on intelligence received at 2200 hours (10pm)
Zagazola authoritatively learnt that the troops swiftly responded and located 12 individuals – three adult females, two female children, and seven male children – who had been left by their captors. The army's intervention was prompt and precise, with the military personnel dominating the area and ensuring the safety of the rescued parties.
Furthermore, the report from the army indicates that the troops encountered an ambush by suspected bandits while returning with the rescued individuals. Despite the sudden attack, the soldiers managed to suppress the threat without incurring any casualties among both the rescue team and the victims.
The Misleading Police Report
Contrarily, a statement issued by the FCT Police Command suggested that their Anti-Kidnapping squad, in collaboration with the Nigerian Army, was responsible for the rescue operation. The police narrative highlighted a joint effort that culminated in the liberation of the victims from the Kajuru forest in Kaduna state at approximately 11:30 pm on the same date. The police commissioner, CP Haruna G. Garba, also lauded the role of the new Special Intervention Squad and reaffirmed the force's commitment to maintaining security within the Federal Capital Territory.
Upon review, Zagazola Makama has determined that the police statement does not align with the verified actions taken by the army.
Apart from the fact that the army handed over the rescued abductees to the police for further reuniting them with their respective families, there was no time the military had jointly executed the operation with the police.
“Handing over rescued victims of abduction to civil police cannot be described as a joint operation, for God sake,” lamented a middle cadre army officer who was part of the operation that led to the rescue.
“We have all the pictorial evidence marked with coordinates to show the time and location of the rescue which we have shared. No doubt we are all serving one nation and our core mandate is safeguarding the citizens, but it is highly demoralizing for our troops to hear that in an operation in which they came under deadly ambush someone will dismiss their efforts by claiming that it was an operation conducted by the police Anti-kidnapping squad in a joint effort with the army,” the officer said.
There is no evidence to support the police's claim of involvement in the rescue mission. The Nigerian Army's independent operation was successful in averting a potentially dangerous situation, without the assistance or participation of the police force.
Zagazola Makama's commitment to accurate reporting ensures that the public receives trustworthy information. This fact-check serves to correct the record and provide a clear understanding of the events that transpired on January 20, highlighting the valor and efficiency of the Nigerian Army in carrying out this critical operation.