Group urges FG to shutdown NYSC operations untill 8 Akwa Ibom kidnapped corpers are rescued

Wed, Sep 20, 2023
By editor
3 MIN READ

Politics

THE Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has strongly condemned the abduction of eight members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) by gunmen in Zamfara State. The Rights group acknowledged the bold efforts by the management of the NYSC to get the corpers freed but has asked that operations of the NYSC be shut down for a short duration of time so all efforts woyld be feared towards freeing the hostages. 

The rights group, in a statement issued on Wednesday, demanded full disclosures by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the the two ministers of Youth Affairs on why they have seemingly abandoned the corps members with hardened terrorists.

The statement, signed by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said the incident was a “shocking and unacceptable violation of the fundamental human rights of the young Nigerians who were serving their fatherland”.

According to the statement, the corps members were traveling inside an AKTC bus from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to Sokoto State en route Zamfara State, to take part in the mandatory national service when their vehicle was intercepted along a highway in Zamfara on Saturday.

The statement also said a source in the transport company confirmed the incident to the media adding that three out of the 11 corps members in the bus escaped from the gunmen, while the driver was also abducted.

“The kidnappers have contacted the parents of some of the victims and demanded N4 million ransom for each of them.” 

The group quoted a Facebook user, Malachy Blessed, who disclosed the identity of one of the abducted corps members as Emmanuel Esudue, a graduate of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering from Akwa Ibom State University.

Another victim was identified as Betty Udofia by another Facebook user, Edidiong Richard.

The NYSC management relocated from Abuja to Zamfara to have boots on the ground to coordinate the rescue efforts but HURIWA is demanded that the entire operations of NYSC be suspended for at least three weeks so the security, safe rescue of the abducted corpers is achieved and adequate and top notch security strategies enforced to protect corpers all over the Country. HURIWA says NYSC should also stop deploying corpers to Zamfara State for the time being. “We commend the management of the NYSC for the courageous efforts put in place to ensure swift rescue of the abducted corpers. But now is the time for scaling up measures and strategies to achieve holistic rescue of the corpers and to put modalities in place to ensure that never again will the safety of corpers be put in jeopardy.”

The statement said HURIWA is “appalled and outraged” by the “lackadaisical and indifferent” attitude of the security agencies and especially the office of the IGP, the Chief of Army Staff and the DG of DSS towards getting the hostages freed timeously. 

The Human Rights group  is calling for “appropriate and swift action” by relevant authorities to secure the immediate and unconditional release of the corps members and bring their abductors to justice.

The group’s statement also urged the NYSC to “shut down its operations” until the corps members are retrieved from the kidnappers, saying that “silence or abandonment are no options at all”.

“We are standing in solidarity with the families, the management of NYSC,and friends of the abducted corps members and praying for their safe return.” 

“HURIWA is calling on all Nigerians to join in demanding for the protection and welfare of NYSC members across the country.”

A.

-September. 20, 2023 @ 12:28 GMT |

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