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Gunmen kidnap 8 Kuje council officials, 4 others

Gunmen have abducted a former Vice Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Alhaji Mohammed Baba, two councillors representing Kwaku and Kabi wards of the council, Alhassan…

Gunmen have abducted a former Vice Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Alhaji Mohammed Baba, two councillors representing Kwaku and Kabi wards of the council, Alhassan Afado and Moses Samson, and nine other people along the Kabbi-Kuje road and Pegi; all in Kuje.

Daily Trust learnt that among those kidnapped along the Kabbi-Kuje road are the Special Adviser to the Chairman of the Council on Education, Jibrin Abubakar, a former Kuje chapter Chairman of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Prince Ibrahim Abdullahi Kabbi, the Special Assistant to the Chairman on Media and Publicity, Nuhu Waziri, NULGE Vice Chairman in the council, Bala Dagbo, a former Councillor of Kwaku Ward, Jibrin Zuna, and two others.

A witness, Josiah Musa, said the incident happened around 07:00pm on Saturday when they were returning from Kabbi village in a Toyota Hiace bus of the revenue department of the council.

Musa said the victims attended a reception in honour of the newly appointed Local Education Authority (LEA) Secretary of the council, Yunusa Zakara, which was held in his village, Kabbi.

He explained that the gunmen came out from a bush and flagged down the bus and then took their hostages back into the bush.

The Chairman of the council, Abdullahi Suleiman Sabo, could not be reached for comment as his phone was switched off.

Similarly, suspected gunmen abducted a man, Nwaluo Victor, and his son, in Pegi community of the council.

A resident of the community confirmed the incident via telephone to our reporter yesterday, and said it happened around 02:00am on Saturday.

He said the gunmen invaded the community and shot sporadically before whisking away the victims.

The Chairman of Pegi Community Development Association (PECDA), Adebirigbe Issac Taiwo, also confirmed the incident to our reporter via telephone, saying “It was at about 02:00am when I started hearing gunshots around Zone A of the community and a resident alerted me that kidnappers had invaded the house of his relation and abducted him and his son.”

When contacted, the spokesman of the FCT Police Command, ASP Mariam Yusuf, confirmed the Kabbi incident, saying effort was ongoing to ensure that the hostages were rescued, but that the command was not aware of the Pegi incident.

Pegi and Kabbi communities, five kilometres apart, have been the epicenters of kidnapping in Kuje Area Council for the past one year. Local sources have alleged that the kidnappers have camps in forests around the areas.

Besides, the incidents are coming on the heels of a security alert last month of insurgents invading forests in the rural communities of the FCT, and this is the second major kidnap incident since the alarm was raised by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the other being the Tungan Maje incident last month in which at least 11 people were kidnapped.

Also, kidnappers last Wednesday opened fire on a commercial vehicle and abducted a man and his son a few metres away from Pegi community.

Meanwhile, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani, has condemned the abductions of the council officials.

The minister who described the incident as unfortunate and heinous, regretted that cases of abduction had become rampant, especially in Kuje Area Council.

In a statement by Mr. Austine Elemue, the minister’s media aide, she assured that the FCT Administration (FCTA) would take drastic measures to address the situation and appealed to residents to remain calm as effort was being made to rescue the hostages.