The Adamawa State Police Command on Wednesday said that the Vice-Chairman of the Hong Local Government Area, Bijida Yakubu, was abducted last week by suspected Boko Haram fighters.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, Othman Abubakar, also told the News Agency of Nigeria, that three vigilante members, that were with Yakubu, lost their lives in the encounter.
Abubakar, who did not give details, however, said policemen investigating the incident had so far recovered the vice-chairman’s shoes.
The abduction was said to have been carried out by Boko Haram members who attacked Gayafa village.
A resident of Hong, who simply identified himself as Hussaini, said, “You know insurgents attacked the village last week. The vice-chairman, who hails from the village, was on an assessment visit with some hunters when the insurgents attacked and over-powered them.
“About seven insurgents were killed in the encounter before they overpowered the hunters and took away the vice-chairman.”
Hussaini claimed that the abducted vice- chairman was later allowed by his captors to call his wife with his cell phone before the device was switched off.
Meanwhile, the Presidency on Wednesday reviewed the ongoing military onslaught against Boko Haram and said the success recorded so far was because of certain factors.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, listed the deployment of specially-trained anti-terrorism combat squad in the troubled states and the purchase of sophisticated military hardware as the factors.
He said, “There is a recent approval by the African Union and the United Nations for a broad-based international coalition to collaborate with our military.
“This approval also gives legal authority to our neighbours ( Chad, Niger and Cameroon) to lawfully deploy troops on Nigerian soil while our Military can now operate beyond our borders to hunt fleeing terrorists; thus removing their safe haven.”
Okupe also denied the media reports that President Goodluck Jonathan said he underrated the sect.
He said, “In the first instance, what President Jonathan said in the interview which has been mischievously twisted by the APC(All Progressives Congress) was that at the outset of the Boko Haram activities, the group was treated as a local insurgent group in view of the fact that there was scanty information on its global network in training, funding and supply of arms.”
Also in Abuja on Wednesday, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said the elections scheduled for March 28 and April 11 must hold whether the military succeeded or failed in wiping out insurgency in the North-East.
Onaiyekan spoke with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja at the second and third convocation of Veritas University.