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Kogi: Remaining kidnapped university students regain freedom

The Kogi State Government has announced the rescue of the remaining eight kidnapped students of Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara (CUSTECH) Bringing the numbers of rescued students to 30.

Recall 32 students were abducted inside the school premises early last month while preparing for the commencement of their exams. Four of the abducted students were first rescued, followed by another 16, and two students who escaped on his own, before the latest 8 that were rescued.

Two of the abducted students were however killed last week by the abductors following the state government decision not to pay ransom for the victims, but rather embarked on ‘kinetic and non kinetic” onslaught against the kidnappers.

This latest development was revealed on Sunday in a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo.

“The Kogi State Government has announced the rescue of the remaining eight kidnapped students of Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara.

“The Governor has directed full support towards the recovery of the students and their parents, while modalities are being put in place to make Kogi safer for all.

“The Government of Kogi State expresses profound gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for directing the mobilization of resources to ensure the rescue of the kidnapped students.

“We also thank the National Security Adviser immensely for his commitment to the release of the students and the general security of the State.

“The Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, the Director General of DSS, the Inspector General of Police and all the officers and men of the Armed Forces that put in their best as well as the Pilots, did a wonderful job to support us in reuniting the kidnapped students with their families.

“The Kogi State Command of all the security agencies, Police, DSS, NSCDC and our local hunters are also highly appreciated for their efforts towards this feat.

“Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo also expresses immense gratitude to his Kwara State counterpart, Governor AbdulRahmam AbdulRazak for his personal commitment, cooperation and support towards the success of the operation that led to the rescue of the remaining kidnapped students.

“The Kwara State Governor showed the reason he is effectively leading the Nigerian Governors Forum. His actions have also reinforced the Kogi/Kwara cooperation and unity of purpose.

“Now that the remaining students have been rescued, our administration will continue the drive to recalibrate our security architecture and pay an uncompromising attention to the Safe School Initiative.

“As the State with the lowest out of school children in the North, we have put structures in place to keep our schools safe to ensure every child is not deprived of his or her right to education.

“Kogi has domesticated the Child Rights Act and we will defend the right of our children to quality education. In Kogi State, education is free up to the Secondary School level.

“We also pay the registration fees for our students to write all internal and external examinations with a budgetary allocation that is way above the UNESCO benchmark for education. We do all of these to educate our children and make them responsible contributors to the economy of Nigeria.

“We urge our citizens to always volunteer intelligence to security agencies to enable them to prevent crime. This is safer, cheaper and better for us all.

“All of us must come together to defeat banditry, kidnapping and any form of criminality in our society.”

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