Breaking: Nigerian Army announces rescue of Maj. Datong, who was abducted at NDA
The Nigerian Army has announced the rescue by its troops of its senior officer, Major Christopher Datong, who was abducted during a recent attack by gunmen on the premises of the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA Kaduna on August 24, 2021.
This was disclosed in an official statement late on Friday night by Col. Ezindu Idimah, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations,1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna.
Col Idimah explained that the officer was rescued after troops overpowered his abductors during an exchange of fire.
According to him, Maj. Datong who sustained a minor injury, was treated at a medical facility and has since been handed over to the NDA.
The statement reads:
“Following the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for 1 Division Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and all security agencies to conduct decisive operations to rescue Major CL Datong who was abducted at Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Permanent Site on 24 August 2021 and find the perpetrators dead or alive.
“The Division in conjunction with the Air Task Force, Department of State Services and other security agencies, immediately swung into action by conducting operations in the Afaka general area to find and rescue the officer.
“The operations were being conducted based on several leads received from various sources regarding the abductors and likely locations the officer was being held.
“The operations which have been sustained since the abduction of the officer proved quite successful and led to the destruction of several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari general area and neutralization of scores of bandits particularly.
“In the late hours of today, 17 September, 2021, 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 has been treated in a medical facility and handed over to NDA for further action.
“The Division wishes to commend the efforts of the NAF, DSS , Nigerian Police and patriotic Nigerians for their invaluable support which contributed to the success of this operation.
“Our operations will continue until we capture or neutralize the assailants that killed two (2) officers in the NDA on 24 August 2021.”
It would be recalled that several hours after his abduction, there was a deluge of officially unconfirmed media reports that the officer had been found dead but which the military authorities later said were untrue.