Police in the Nigerian state of Edo in the southwest of the country reported Tuesday that 22 people who had been kidnapped in the past few weeks were released.
Edo police spokesman Kontongs Bello said security forces encountered suspected kidnappers on a highway on Monday and an intense shootout took place in which three of the kidnappers were killed.
In this case, the police were able to save seven people, adding to 13 saved this Saturday. Edo police also said they faced another armed group on April 28 and released two other people, according to the Premium Times.
On the other hand, a pastor and former official in the state of Ondo was kidnapped by armed men this Monday, according to “Vanguard”.
A police spokesman, Tee Leo Ikoro, has confirmed the kidnapping of the victim, whose name is Otamayomi Ogedengbe, and the order and release of the cleric. “I hope that if the victim is saved unscathed, we can tell you a good story today,” he said.
The events coincided with the kidnapping of around 40 people in the Nigerian state of Katsina. Likewise, a few days ago, a group of students from Abia Uturu State University were kidnapped by armed men while they were on a bus.
These types of incidents have increased in recent months, causing authorities in several states to close schools to ensure the safety of students and teachers while assessing the situation on the ground.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has come under increasing criticism because the security situation in the country has deteriorated in the face of increasing attacks by jihadist groups – Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) – and armed gangs, as well as the increasing number of inter-community confrontations.