Troops of the Nigerian Army in 17 Brigade, Katsina State, have rescued an Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmed Suleiman, and five other clerics of the Jammaatul Izalatul Bidia Wa Iqamatus Sunna sect, who were abducted in the Kankara Local Government Area of the state.
Suleiman and his five followers had been abducted on March 14 along Kakumi–Kankara Road in the Kankara LGA of the state. This prompted the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to order the troops to work with the police to rescue the clerics.
The abductors had on March 17 demanded N300m ransom for the release of the six clerics, who were returning from an annual First Aid Camp of the Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’ikamatis Sunnah, a northern-based Islamic propagation movement which was held in Sokoto State.
The army in a Press release said, the search and rescue team was assisted by the Nigerian Army Directorate of Military Intelligence which provided “actionable intelligence and constant guidance for the brigade.”
The Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Tokunbo Omoniyi, said the clerics were rescued after “sustained covert, surveillance and tactical lines of operations were orchestrated in close synchronization with relevant security agencies.”
Omoniyi said, “These efforts have finally led to the rescue of the kidnapped victims around 1am on Wednesday. The clerics are in good health as ascertained by the medical examination already conducted on them at the 17 Brigade Medical Centre.”
Our correspondent learnt that the clerics were conveyed to the Emir of Katsina from where they were expected to be reunited with their families.