The Nigerian army says it has recued Major Christopher Datong, who was kidnapped from the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) in Kaduna state in August, 2021 from bandits.
Major Datong’s rescue led to the death of many bandits and the destruction of their camps in Afaka- Birnin Gwari areas of the state, the army said.
Deputy Director Army Public Relations 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Ezindu Idimah, said Friday night that Datong was rescued by troops on September 18 after monitoring his movements in the hands of captors for weeks.
He said the Division in conjunction with the Air Task Force, Department of State Services and other security agencies, immediately swung into action.
“The troops arrived at a camp suspected to be the location where Maj CL Datong was being held. At the camp, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits and overwhelmed them with superior fire.
“In the process, the gallant troops were able to rescue the abducted officer. However, the officer sustained a minor injury but he has been treated in a medical facility and handed over to NDA for further action,” he said.
He commended the efforts of the NAF, DSS , Nigerian Police and “patriotic Nigerians” for their invaluable support which contributed to the success of this operation.
He said their operations will continue until they capture or neutralize the assailants behind the NDA incident.
Attack on the NDA and abduction of Major Datong
On August 24, 2021, bandits dressed in military uniforms attacked the Afaka barracks of the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA), Kaduna, killing two naval officers and abducting one Major Christopher Datong.
Officers at the CCTV room of the barrack were said to be asleep when the attackers carried out the operation.
Major Datong’s whereabouts have been uncertain until his rescue in September.
Colleagues Raised Money For Major Datong’s Ransom
New York based online news portal, Sahara Reporters citing a military source said, on September 11, that military colleagues of Major Datong were raising funds to pay ransom to the bandits for his release.
“Datong’s military friends are keeping their ransom efforts as anonymous as possible in order not to incur punishments from the military authorities which are still bent on an obviously failed option of search-and-rescue. ” The newspaper said.