The University of Uyo (UNIUYO) students in Akwa Ibom State have raised concerns over the frequent abduction of Prospective Corp Members (PCMs) from the state.
The successive abductions have become a serious cause for alarm among residents of the area as National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) members are recently their target.
Over a period of three months now, nineteen PCMs were kidnapped while traveling to Zamfara and Kogi States through the Akwa Ibom State-owned transport company, AKTC.
The first incident occurred on August 19, 2023, when eight corp members were abducted while en route to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in Sokoto, Zamfara State.
Since then, one person has been rescued with the help of security agencies, while the others remain in captivity. Despite reassurances from the NYSC, there has been no progress report three months after the incident.
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Parents of the victims expressed frustration at the government’s lack of action and negligence. They disclosed that they had sold their properties to raise N13 million, which was offered to the kidnappers for the release of their children. However, the kidnappers took the ransom and demanded an additional N100 million to release the captives.
In a subsequent incident, eleven PCMs traveling to the NYSC Orientation camp in Kogi State were also abducted. While it is unclear if the eleven have been rescued, most of the captives were reportedly released due to the efforts of their families, who paid significant sums of money.
Speaking on the matter, a parent of one of the abducted PCMs expressed frustration with the government, emphasizing the traumatic experience and the desperate efforts made to secure the release of their child.
The National Association of Akwa Ibom State Students, University of Uyo, called on the Federal Government, Akwa Ibom State government, security agencies, National Assembly, and NYSC Directors to address the ongoing challenge. They urged these authorities to deploy strategic mechanisms to ensure the safe return of the abducted students and to prevent future abductions.
Additionally, some fresh graduates awaiting their NYSC mobilization expressed apprehension over the situation, expressing concerns about the safety of corp members traveling to the North and urging urgent intervention from the federal government.