Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, welcomed the three schoolchildren who were abducted in May and later rescued from Anambra and Delta states. The governor used the occasion to remind parents of their crucial role in ensuring their children’s safety.

The children, Gideon (8), Divine (6), and Israel (4), were taken on May 10, 2024, while on their way home from school. The incident occurred after they stopped at their grandmother’s house, where a motorcyclist hired to take them home decided to abduct them instead.

After a three-week search, two of the children were found in Anambra State, while the third was rescued last week in Delta State. Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, Moureen Chinaka, announced that four suspects are in custody in connection with the abduction.

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At a gathering at his residence in Umuehim, Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area, Governor Otti expressed his gratitude to God and those who contributed to the children’s rescue. He emphasized the importance of parental vigilance, urging parents to avoid entrusting their children to strangers, including Keke or Okada riders.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of your children,” Otti said. “This incident was avoidable, and we must learn from it to prevent such occurrences in the future.”

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Governor Otti also called on security operatives to ensure that all individuals involved in the abduction are prosecuted to serve as a deterrent. He pledged that the government would support the rescued children and urged communities to adopt a collective approach to child safety.

Reaffirming his commitment to securing Abia State, Otti highlighted the importance of a robust security framework for economic development. “We promised to secure the state to grow our economy, and we are working hard to achieve this,” he stated.

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Mayor of Ikwuano, Comrade Osinachi Nwaka, who led the first rescue operation in Ekwulobia, Anambra State, praised Governor Otti’s dedication to restoring safety in Abia. The governor’s Special Adviser on Security Matters, Commander MacDonald Uba (Rtd.), also commended Otti for his leadership and optimism throughout the rescue operations.

Honourable Boniface Isienyi, who represents Ikwuano State Constituency, expressed gratitude for the successful rescue and revealed plans to propose a bill to ensure that all motherless babies’ homes in the state are registered with the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Governor Otti concluded by assuring residents that his administration will continue to prioritize security and work towards creating a safe and prosperous environment for all.