and Godwin Isenyo
A German archaeologist, Prof. Peter Breunji, and his associate, Johannes Buringer, abducted by gunmen at Jenjela village, in the Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, have regained their freedom.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the release, commended security operatives for the release of the Germans.
A statement on Sunday by the governor’s spokeman, read in part, “The abducted German archaeologist, Prof. Peter Breunij, and his research assistant, Johannes Buringer, have been freed.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai has commended security agencies for their efforts in securing the release of the Germans.”
The professor was said to be the leader of a four-man team from the University of Frankfurt, Germany, working in Nigeria in collaboration with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments and other institutions on the relics of Nok culture in Nigeria.
Breunij, 65, and his aide, who is in his early 20s, were abducted on Wednesday in Jenjela community.
Although the statement was silent on whether a ransom was paid before the Germans were released or not, the abductors on Wednesday had demanded N60m in ransom.
A source had said a male voice, who spoke on behalf of the abductors, warned against involving the police and other security agencies.
A source at the Force headquarters on Sunday also confirmed the release of the men, saying that a manhunt for their abductors had been intensified.
“It is true that the two men have been released by their abductors on Saturday. However, the police have intensified a manhunt for the kidnappers and I can tell you that we will get them soon,” the senior officer stated.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, had last week explained that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had deployed the Intelligence Response Team, the Technical Intelligence Unit as well as the Anti-Kidnapping unit to rescue the men.
Other units involved in the rescue operation included the Counter -Terrorism Unit, the Police Mobile Force, and the Special Investigation Team on kidnapping and terrorism cases, under the command of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Department of Operations, Joshak Habila.