Umar Muhammed, Lafia

No fewer than three members of the National Youths Service Corps, serving in the Assakio area of the Lafia East Development Area, Nasarawa State, have been confirmed dead.

While two of the deceased – Oguntola Wasiu-Babatunde and Danjuma Jamil-Salihu – drowned in a swimming pool, their female counterpart, Memuna Ahmad-Yarwa, died from complications during a child birth.

The woman was a Batch B, Stream II female corps member posted to Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Wasiu-Babatunde with code number, NS16B4044 hailed from Ogun State, while Jamil-Salihu with code number NS16B 0175 was an indigene of Kwara State.

It was learnt that the duo, whose bodies were found floating on the bank of Assakio River area on Sunday, were not skilled in swimming.

Investigation by our correspondent indicated that the river had claimed several lives of indigenous farmers in the area over the years.

Confirming the incident to PUNCH Metro, the state Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, Mrs. Zainab Isah, said, “I received the shocking news from the Assistant Commissioner of Police in the state. He said two corps members drowned in the Assakio River.”

While expressing sadness over the incident, she, however, prayed that God would grant them internal rest and give their parents the fortitude to bear the loss.

The female corps member was said to have been buried according to the Islamic rites, while the corpses of the male victims had been deposited in a morgue.

Isah also confirmed the kidnap of a corps member serving in the Udege Development Area of the state by gunmen at about 1pm on Friday.

The victim and four other corps members had reportedly gone to a bank in the community and were returning to their various places of assignments when the lady was abducted.

It was also gathered that N5m ransom was paid to the kidnappers before the victim was released.

The state coordinator of NYSC dispelled the rumour that the victim was allegedly raped by her kidnappers.

She said, “I took the victim, Blessing Kelechi, a Batch ‘A,’ Stream I corps member, who hails from Abia State, to the Federal Medical Center, Lafia, where she underwent a medical test which dismiss the rumour making the round that the corps member was raped by her kidnappers.

“The corps members were allegedly robbed by gunmen. Kelechi is presently in my custody. I am going to hand her over to the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Al-Makura.

“No ransom was paid before her release, but she was beaten by the kidnappers.  At the time the victim was kidnapped, she was in her menstruation period and the assault made her to bleed more.”

Isah commended the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammed Kura, for ensuring Kelechi’s freedom.

She urged the corps members in the state to be security conscious and law-abiding.

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