“We are just glad that the government of Rivers State kept its promise, after reaching out to the leaders of this coalition following our focused campaign on the matter, and secured this release.” said Adebola Williams, co-founder of The Future Project. “We have not being told if any ransom was paid to secure their safe return home. However, we cannot afford to fade in silence over this national concern. We will not relent until we see the change that we want to see.”
Amongst other actions, ProtectTheCorpers had issued a press statement one week – on June 15, 2011 - after the abduction calling on the abductors of these youth on national service to release them without any further delay and characterized the continued kidnap as “a national disgrace”. The call came after the group had made moves to confirm the true state of affairs of the “NYSC 5”.
Barely a week after this call, news reports confirm that the corps members have been rescued – on June 20 - and are now safe with their families. The victims, four females and a male were kidnapped by unknown gunmen at Omademe community in Ikwerre local government area of the state, while they were on their way to inspect a school library, a community development project they initiated.
“Unfortunately, even as we celebrate this, as we have always known, this is a long haul process,” said Mercy Abang, of EnoughisEnough Nigeria, a member of the coalition. “At the moment, there is yet another tragedy – as four corps members lost their lives in a car crash on their way from Enugu barely two days ago. The government needs to take responsibility urgently and speed up the process of reforming this scheme. If not, we will still have the same story month after month.”