Twelve more kidnapped victims from last Saturday’s train station attack in Igueben, Edo State, have been rescued by a Special Force of soldiers, policemen, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), local vigilance members and hunters among others.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this on Sunday, January 15, while speaking with reporters after visiting the rescued victims at the Police Cottage Hospital in Benin City.
Obaseki said the twelve passengers were rescued on Saturday night, January 14.
The Governor also berated the authorities of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for not providing enough security in its facilities after the Kaduna train kidnap of March 28, 2022.
He also threatened to sanction traditional rulers in the area still giving their lands to herdsmen for grazing.
“I visited 12 rescued kidnapped victims, who were abducted from the Igueben Train Station in the state, assuring that we will leave no stone unturned in securing the release of the two remaining hostages,” he said.
“In the last week, with the intelligence system at our disposal and the technological support we have in place, we were able to track the criminals. With the training of our special forces, we were able to rescue and release 12 out of 14 victims still in captivity.
“We are happy as a state and people that we have been able to secure the release of those kidnapped at the Igueben train Station over a week ago.
“We thank our security forces for the sleepless nights and efforts put in place to rescue persons kidnapped. We appreciate them for this achievement as we have something to rejoice about especially as we celebrate our armed forces.”
“We must also express our disappointment at the authorities of the Nigerian Railway Corporation because, after the Kaduna incident, we expect that they will secure their facilities better.
“For six men to have come into their facility, I think it is something that has to be investigated. It doesn’t speak well of their preparedness to run an efficient rail system in this country and it doesn’t give Nigerians the confidence that they will be safe using that mode of transportation.” he added.
Also confirming the development, the State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Dankwara, said the 12 passengers were rescued unhurt in Ughboa Forest.
The CP said the rescue mission was made possible by the joint forces working tirelessly to ensure the victims were reunited with their families unhurt.
“I am pleased to inform you that on Saturday at about 10pm, the joint security forces in Edo State in a concerted effort to rescue the abducted victims of the Igueben Train Station attack, stormed Ughboa forest in a joint operation, through a technical intelligence provided to the command and control intelligence rapid response squad, and rescued 12 victims unhurt,” the stated.
“They are as follows: Eunice Eseba (56 years), Marian Mowoe (28 years), Faith Smart (42 years), Precious Egwuje (28 years), Obehi Omaben (39 years) and Amm Benson (42 years).
“Others are Favour Akungo (18 years), Akhimen Ehiemamen (48 years), Christian iyere (33 years), Emmanuel Esieba (67 years), Iyoha Julius (25 years) and Aguelle Beatrice (42 years).
“This brings to 18 the number of victims rescued while two others who are staff members of the Nigeria Railway Cooperation are still being held captive by the kidnappers. Meanwhile, operation and synergy continue to ensure the remaining two are rescued,” he added.
Last Saturday, 32 persons, including two workers at the train station, were abducted while waiting to board a train by bandits who invaded the station with sophisticated weapons.