The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, The Presidency, Aso Rock,
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Dear Mr. President,
RE: EIGHT KIDNAPPED PROSPECTIVE NYSC CORP MEMBERS OF AKWA IBOM ORIGIN IN ZAMFARA STATE STILL IN CAPTIVITY OVER 90 DAYS ON: A PASSIONATE APPEAL FOR PRESIDENTIAL INTERVENTION AND RESCUE.
The Ibom People’s Congress (IPC ) International, the United States based Akwa Ibom premier International body, renowned for advocacy and pursuit of justice for Akwa Ibom People and underprivileged Nigerians generally, once again congratulates you on your emergence as President and Commander in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the most populous black country on earth. Recall that we had in a letter dated June 13, 2023 formally congratulated you on coming into office.
Once again, IPC extends to you our best wishes for continued good health and patriotic support to succeed in office as you embark on the task of changing the socio-economic and political situation of the country through your “Renewed Hope” initiative.
Your Excellency, IPC is a multi-ethnic non-partisan advocacy group, and think-tank organization with a research-oriented commitment to fairness, equity and justice for the people of Akwa Ibom, not only within Akwa Ibom State, but also within the larger Nigerian nation. Since its formation in 1995, our organisation has remained dynamic and consistent in engaging in our conviction to advocate for the health, welfare, and rights of Akwa Ibom people, irrespective of their ethnic, political, or religious affiliation.
Mr. President, we appreciate the enormity of the task before you to reposition Nigeria to the path of peace and progress. Sadly, it does appear that unpatriotic characters and criminal elements are daily making matters worse due to new and unresolved security situations in the country. The kidnap and prolonged captivity of the eight prospective NYSC members of Akwa Ibom origin, by armed bandits in Zamfara State since August 17, 2023 is of paramount concern to us as Akwa Ibom people in diaspora. They were en-route to the NYSC Orientation camp at Sokoto State in response to the mandatory call for national service.
Mr. President, with respect to your inaugural address and subsequent meetings with Nigerian security agencies, your avowed commitment to ensure the resolution of widespread insecurity all over the country was quite reassuring. It, therefore, bears repeating here that Nigerians and the rest of the world are waiting to see concrete and proactive actions being executed in tandem with your assurances.
The IPC considers quite needful the perspective of the United States Government that “Hostage-takers frequently operate in unstable environments that challenge the ability of…the Government and its partners and allies to operate effectively.”
The kidnapping, coupled with the trending video of their condition, torture and trauma on them, their family members and all right-thinking persons not only violates their fundamental rights as free citizens of Nigeria, but also raises valid concerns about the effectiveness of the nation’s leadership and its ability to protect its constituent citizens and guarantee their safety.
Your Excellency, please, find below the names, pictures and institutions attended by the eight (8) kidnapped prospective Corp members as made public by their parents:
1. Daniel Etim Bassey
Ndon Ebom, Uruan L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State. Graduate of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State
2. Uyo-Obong Victor Udofia
Nkwot Nko, Ikono L.G.A. Graduate of University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
3. Sabbath Anyaewe Ikan
Okorombokoh, Eastern Obolo L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State.
Graduate of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, Ikot Ekpene.
4. Abigail Peter Sandy
Abak LGA, Akwa Ibom State. Graduate of Maurid Polytechnic, Mbiaso, Nsit Ibom LGA, Akwa Ibom State.
5. Glory Etukudo Thomas
Idung Uso, Eket LGA, Akwa Ibom State. Graduate of Heritage Polytechnic, Eket.
6. Emmanuel Emmanuel Esudue
Oruko, Urue Offong/Oruko LGA, Akwa Ibom State.
7. Victoria Bassey Udoka
Ikpe Ikot Nkon, Ini LGA, Akwa Ibom State. Graduate of University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
8. Solomon Bassey Daniel
Itu LGA, Akwa Ibom State. Graduate of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot
Osurua, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.
The driver of the transport company, Akwa Ibom Transport Company (AKTC) is also among the kidnapped victims.
In view of the foregoing, IPC respectfully requests Mr. President to:
i. Note the long-term mental, emotional, and psychological damage of the hostage situation on the corps members, their parents, family members, and even their entire communities.
ii. Direct as appropriate for the Nigerian Armed Forces, Police, Intelligences, and other Security Agencies to facilitate immediate release and return of the abducted corps members.
iii. Direct as appropriate for the government agencies responsible for working collaboratively and sharing information/intelligence with the families of the abducted corps members to assuage their hurts and hightened anxieties.
iv. As we can no longer allow our children to be exposed to incessant abductions, killings, etc in the course of national service, we strongly recommend the review of the NYSC Scheme to make it more responsive and adaptive to current security and economic realities of the country.
v. A high powered NYSC Scheme review committee should be set up with mandate to make recommendations for possible amendment of the extant Act within one month (30 days). Such amendments should stipulate that corp members serve within their regions and travel distance to states of postings must not exceed 4 -5 hours to avoid night travels before reaching their destinations. This, however could be and or, is subject to review in future as the security situation stabilizes.
vi. To make participants readier for the job market after their period of service, skill acquisition(s) should be made mandatory to all corp members during their period of service.
Mr. President, Akwa Ibom State is undoubtedly about the most peaceful State in Nigeria. Also, Akwa Ibom people are known and celebrated globally as persons of exemplary integrity, non-violence and hospitality. Our civil disposition has been greatly injured by the unprecedented abduction and torture of our sons and daughters.
We anticipate your fatherly and expedited action to rescue these young Nigerians unhurt. We also anticipate their adequate rehabilitation after their release from the den of inhuman captors.
Your Excellency, please, do accept the assurances of our highest regards. We believe you shall seize this moment to carve a niche for yourself as both the President and Statesman, who greatly impressed upon Nigerians the need for security and also took decisive and appropriate actions to reverse years of instability and insecurity in the country.
John J Okon, PhD
Engr. Ms. Emem Asikpo