By Evangelist.com.ng edition, Friday, November 24, 2023. Admin.
Citizens of Akwa Ibom State residing in the United States have appealed to President Bola Tinubu, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, and various security agencies to utilize all available resources in securing the immediate release of eight Akwa Ibom youths who were abducted while en route to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in Zamfara State.
The Ibom People’s Congress (IPC), United States chapter, expressed their disappointment with the federal government’s perceived lack of urgency in addressing the fate of these young individuals who were fulfilling their national service obligations.
During a press conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, IPC President Prof John Okon emphasized that the abducted youths, who willingly offered their services to their motherland, have now been held captive by kidnappers for over 90 days. The group has reached out to President Tinubu, Senate President Akpabio, Speaker House of Reps Tajudeen Abbas, and the National Security Adviser, urging them to take immediate action for the safe release of these young graduates and others who were also abducted.
Prof Okon, accompanied by Citizens Matthew Okono, the Global Director of Communications for IPC, and member Greg Amba Obong, appealed to national leaders to prioritize the victims’ well-being over political affiliations and sentiments, considering the trauma they are enduring in captivity.
The names of the abducted prospective corps members are as follows: Daniel Etim Bassey Ndon Ebom, Uruan L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State (graduate of University of Nigeria); Uyo-Obong Victor Udofia, Nkwot Nko, Ikono L.G.A (graduate of University of Uyo); Sabbath Anyaewe Ikan Okorombokoh, Eastern Obolo L.G.A (graduate of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic); Abigail Peter Sandy, Abak LGA (graduate of Maurid Polytechnic, Mbiaso, Nsit Ibom LGA); Glory Etukudo Thomas Idung Uso, Eket LGA (graduate of Heritage Polytechnic, Eket); Emmanuel Emmanuel Esudue Oruko, Urue Offong/Oruko LGA, Akwa Ibom State; Victoria Bassey Udoka, Ikpe Ikot Nkon, Ini LGA (graduate of University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State); Solomon Bassey Daniel, Itu LGA (graduate of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic); and the driver of the Akwa Ibom Transport Company (AKTC).
The IPC also expressed disappointment that while the victims abducted after the prospective corps members were promptly released, they firmly stated that “Injustice against one Akwa Ibom youth is injustice to all Akwa Ibomites.”
In their plea, the IPC requested the following actions from the President:
1. Acknowledge the long-term mental, emotional, and psychological impact of the hostage situation on the corps members, their families, and their communities.
2. Direct the Nigerian Armed Forces, Police, Intelligence agencies, and other Security Agencies to facilitate the immediate release and return of the abducted corps members.
3. Instruct government agencies to collaborate and share information and intelligence with the families of the abducted corps members to provide reassurance and address their heightened anxieties.
4. Review the NYSC Scheme to make it more responsive and adaptable to current security and economic realities in the country. Establish a high-powered NYSC Scheme review committee with a mandate to propose amendments to the existing Act within one month.
These amendments should include provisions for corps members to serve within their regions, with travel distances to their assigned states not exceeding 4-5 hours to avoid night travel before reaching their destinations. These provisions can be subject to future review as the security situation stabilizes.
The diaspora group also called on Nigerians, political organizations, and religious institutions to join their voices in demanding the release of these young Nigerians.