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By NBF News

Soldiers from the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, who were drafted to Aba, Abia State at the height of the kidnap saga last week, yesterday stormed an area suspected to be a major hideout of the kidnappers at Ugwagi, near Ogwe in Ukwa West Local Government Area. The operation was tagged 'Show of Force.'

The Federal Government had last week after the kidnap of 15 pupils of a private school in Aba, gave its nod to the deployment of soldiers who after freeing the school kids, have remained behind, to the admiration of residents, to flush out the hoodlums from the area.

Speaking with the Daily Sun in on telephone, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, Assistant Director, Public Relations, 82 Division said the Federal Government attached great importance to the liberation of Abia State from the clutches of kidnappers and other criminal elements which was why the operation was led by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Maj. Gen. Sarkin Yaki Bello.

He said the operation was going on successfully as soldiers had raided many of the hideouts of the kidnappers, made several arrests and recovered ammunitions and stolen properties including vehicles. The soldiers also freed kidnapped victims.

He said Major-General Bello was committed to ensuring that the operation yielded the desired result and has rolled out a marshal plan that would ensure the whole of Aba and its environs were covered in the present military onslaught and all kidnappers completely destroyed. Lt. Col Sagir stated that with the military intervention, calm was fast returning to Aba and assured that the soldiers would not rest on their oars until all the kidnappers' dens were identified and completely routed.

Sagir urged residents of Aba not to panic when they see movement of military convoy along the streets, pointing out that they are meant to restore confidence in the people. In his words, 'we've rolled out a marshal plan which will ensure that the whole of Aba and its environs are covered in the present military onslaught, no area will be left out. People should not be afraid when they see us patrol the streets, it was aimed at restoring confidence in them'

'We've have arrested many kidnappers, but we can not give the number because the operation is still on; neither can we give out names of those arrested at this moment, for security reasons.'