Four days following the harrowing incident, the Akwa Ibom State government remains silent in the wake of the news of the kidnapping of eight National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who were traveling on an Akwa Ibom Transport Company (AKTC) bus from Uyo to Sokoto, en route to Zamfara State. The incident has raised concerns among various stakeholders, and families of the victims are reportedly considering staging protests at the state House of Assembly and Government House due to the government’s apparent lack of response.
While speculations swirl within Uyo, the state capital, over the state government’s silence, efforts to reach the state Commissioner for Information for comment have been unsuccessful, as his phone number remains unreachable. Additionally, the management of AKTC has declined to comment on the matter.
However, a source within the company has revealed that AKTC has been in contact with security agencies in Sokoto and Zamfara states. The source disclosed that the vehicle from which the victims were abducted has been recovered, suggesting that the kidnappers may have abandoned the bus due to its tracking device. The source expressed hope that law enforcement will utilize the tracker to locate and safely rescue the abducted victims.
In response to the abduction, Brigadier-General YD Ahmed, the Director-General of the NYSC, held separate meetings with the heads of security agencies in Zamfara state to discuss the safety of staff and corps members. These meetings, which took place in the state capital, Gusau, involved key figures including the Commander of the 1st Brigade of the Nigerian Army, the Commissioner of Police, and the Director of the Department of State Services.
During these discussions, General Ahmed praised the cooperative relationship between the security agencies and the NYSC. He stated, “We highly appreciate the assurances of safety given to the staff and corps members of the scheme. This is in line with my priorities since I assumed office.”
A statement from Mr. Eddy Megwa, the NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, revealed that the Brigade Commander commended General Ahmed’s dedication to the welfare of corps members. The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Bunu, reaffirmed his commitment to working closely with other security agencies to support the NYSC Scheme in ensuring the safety of its members. Similarly, the State Director of the Department of State Services, Mr. Usman Shehu, assured the Director-General of the DSS’s readiness to collaborate with the NYSC to safeguard its members’ well-being.