Miss Imaobong Samuel, a member of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) who was kidnapped by bandits while travelling to NYSC orientation camp in Kogi State, has regained freedom, LEADERSHIP learnt on Wednesday.
Samuel, a Higher National Diploma (HND) graduate of Business Administration from Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic (AkwaPoly) at Ikot Osurua in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was amongst the 11 passengers kidnapped on November 1, 2023, while on her way to Kogi State’s camp with others on board the Akwa Ibom Transport Company (AKTC) bus along the Benin – Abuja highway.
Following her release after spending about a week in the den of the bandits in Kogi forest, the corps member, who was released unharmed, has been redeployed by the NYSC authorities back to Akwa Ibom, and has commenced her 21-day orientation programme at the state’s NYSC camp at Ikot Itie Udung village, in Nsit Atai Local Government Area.
Narrating her ordeal, Miss Samuel, who was sworn -in along with the 2,339 others Tuesday, said her freedom was secured “after payment of some ransom.”
“To God be the glory, I have been officially sworn-in into the NYSC scheme and currently undergoing my 21 days orientation exercise at Nsit Atai, Akwa Ibom State,” she said.
Meanwhile, Governor Umo Eno, has assured the 2,339 Batch ‘C’ Stream 11, Corps members posted to serve in Akwa Ibom of adequate security and welfare, promising to fix social facilities in the camp for their comfortable stay in the camp during the three weeks orientation exercise.
Represented by Mr. Ifiok Duff, a Director in the state Ministry of Sports, Eno charged the Corps members to live above board in their patriotic duties of serving the nation while in the state.
Also, towards ensuring the release of other eight Akwa Ibom prospective corp members seized by bandits in Zamfara State, while on their way from Abuja to Sokoto, on board the same AKTC bus in August, 2023, a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Including the Ibom People’s Congress (IPC), have called on President Bola Tinubu, Akwa Ibom and Zamfara state governments, security agencies and other stakeholders to demonstrate more than a passing commitment to freeing “the innocent youths who were excited with full enthusiasm to serve their fatherland, but such ambition became truncated abruptly by bandits.”
President of IPC, a Diaspora group, Prof. John Okon, and others in the coalition, lamented the harrowing experiences of the victims including young women in the captivity of the bandits, and called on concerned authorities to “ensure freedom for the would – be Corps members to save the parents and loved ones the agony of living with the trauma of their missing children.”