The two kidnapped law students from the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have regained the freedom from captors.
Ikpi Okoi-Itam and Vincent Adomi-Okorafor who were kidnapped on July 1 on campus were released on Sunday in Calabar South.
The University’s Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Florence Obi, told newsmen their release brought a great deal of relief to the university community.
Obi, who praised God for the safe release of the students, sympathized with them during the traumatic time they went through at the hands of their captors.
“I am very happy that they were released unharmed; they were traumatized and psychologically beaten, but I’m glad they’re back alive.
“It has been a traumatic time for their colleagues, their families and the university community.
“It is a sad situation because the kidnappings of students further weaken the education sector in the country. Kidnapping is not good for the education system.
“They have just returned from the hospital where they underwent a medical examination.
“The exam starts tomorrow for the law students, but for these two who have been kidnapped and released, we need to give them some time to recover before giving them their own exam”, she said.
The VC commended the Nigerian Police, State Department and Navy for their collaboration and efforts to free the students.
“The security agencies did their best; they were at our disposal. The collaboration was so fruitful and their efforts made the release of the students possible.
“The state police commissioner attended the scene and the navy was also on the water sweeping the area.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate them and further advocate that, as we begin our review, they maintain their presence on campus.
“I also want to implore Governor Ben Ayade to come to our aid by deploying state security officials, Operation Akpakwu, to the university to help us strengthen our security”, she said.
Speaking to journalists, one of the released students, Adomi-Okorafor, described their time in captivity as “traumatic and devastating”.
“The kidnappers were mean to us; they tortured us and put us through hell for 11 days. But, I’m happy today to see the light and interact with people.
“They took us through the streams to their camp; it was a painful experience that we had.
“I would like to thank the VC and the security agencies for their tireless efforts in securing our release. I also want to advise the school administration to strengthen the security network on campus”, he said.