Twenty eight hostages, including four children, were rescued after a gun battle between Kogi government-backed local hunters and their abductors at notorious Irepeni forest along Abuja-Lokoja-Okene highway last week Thursday.
Kogi Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo revealed this in Lokoja, the state capital on Monday, while briefing newsmen on the successful security operation that led to the rescue of kidnapped victims.
He said, “Last week Thursday would remain a sad day for kidnappers in Kogi State as they tasted the will-power of the Governor Yahaya Bello administration to rid the state of criminals and sustain the reputation of the state as an anti-crime society that is safe and peaceful.
“Through the new security architecture in the state which accommodates local hunters with better understanding of their terrains, the Irepeni forest in the central part of the State, notoriously known for harboring dreaded kidnappers and other criminals was stormed after credible intelligence and reports showed some commuters were kidnapped.
“A camp of the kidnappers was discovered which led to hours of gun battle between the local hunters and the kidnappers. The kidnappers later surrendered to the superior fire power of the hunters.
“The kidnappers escaped with various degrees of injuries resulting from the gun battle, which made it possible for the hunters to rescue the victims, unscathed,” he stated.
The state government urged residents across the State and even outside the state to be on the look out for people with gunshot wounds.
“Healthcare institutions should also seek clearance from security agencies before attending to any patient with gun wounds.”
He added that the Kogi State Government has taken responsibility for transporting the rescued victims to their various destinations, mostly the North East.
The Commissioner said transportation and compensations were provided to the rescued victims who have been reunited with their families.
Fanwo said the Police Constabulary recently commissioned by Governor Yahaya Bello will be deployed to boost community policing to make Kogi even safer.
The state government assured residents of Kogi and commuters traversing through the state of their safety, urging them to nurse no fear.