Gunmen on the prowl in Kwara, Sokoto | Dailytrust

Gunmen on the prowl in Kwara, Sokoto

Gunmen at the weekend attacked two communities in the southern part of Kwara and abducted at least 30 people in separate incidents.

Similarly, it has been a reign of terror, particularly in Sabon Birni local government of Sokoto state within the past one week where bandits killed 12 persons and sacked 14 villages in the area.

The victims in Kwara, it was gathered, include a pastor and his wife with three other passengers still being held by the gunmen who terrorised the affected communities.

In one incident, the kidnappers intercepted a Sienna Bus with seven passengers along Oke-Onigbin/Omu-Aran high way.

In another incident, a commercial Toyota Hiace Bus with 21 passengers and the pastor’s car were simultaneously intercepted by at Ekan-Meje/Ekiti axis both in Kwara South.

The police, Daily Trust learnt, however, rescued four of the seven victims on the Sienna bus while the abductors escaped with the remaining three passengers.

Also, 20 passengers on the Toyota Hiace commercial bus were rescued unhurt by the police.

It was gathered that the Sienna bus which was conveying passengers from Ekiti State was stopped by six gunmen who emerged from the bush along Oke-Onigbin/Omuaran highway and marched the seven of them into the bush.

Similarly, the pastor’s car and the Toyota Hiace commercial buses were simultaneously waylaid by the kidnappers at gunpoint at the Ekan-Meje/Ekiti axis.

As at the time of filing this report, it was not clear whether the abductors contacted the families for ransom.

Spokesman of the state Police Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, who confirmed the three abductions late Sunday night, said some arrests have been made, adding that Police patrol has been intensified across the state.

He said, “Reports of the three kidnap incidents were received simultaneously by the Kwara State Police command to the effect that along Oke-Onigbin/Omu-Aran highway and Ekiti/Ekan-Meje axis that six armed men emerged from the bush and stopped a Siena bus in transit from Ekiti state on its way to Ilorin and the seven occupants of the vehicle were marched into the bush.

“The command promptly dispatched its tactical units comprising the Anti-kidnapping and Anti cultists units joined by local hunters and vigilante members while police patrols on the routes were alerted.

“The abductors were instantly chased into the bushes, four out of the seven abducted persons were rescued while efforts are still in top gear to get the remaining three rescued.

“Deploying similar tactics by operatives, those abducted in Ekan-Meje/Ekiti axis using the same modus were equally rescued, remaining a pastor and his wife who the Command is frantically doing everything possible to rescue unhurt.

“The police was also able to rescue all the twenty passengers in the Toyota Hiace commercial bus during an attack with the kidnappers. The passengers were rescued unhurt.”

“Some suspects have been arrested and are helping the command in her investigation.

“Situation is under control, the good people of Kwara State are advised to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation and attack.”

Sokoto East under siege

It has been a reign of terror, particularly in Sabon Birni local government of Sokoto state where bandits have killed 12 persons and sacked 14 villages in the area, Daily Trust gathered.

Sabon Birni is located in the eastern part of Sokoto state that has been terrorised by bandits for years. It was gathered that many of the residents of the area had fled into Niger Republic for safety.

A former chairman of the area, Idris Gobir told Daily Trust that, more than 10 people were killed in one week in the area while over 1000 animals rustled.

The villages sacked by bandits he said, were Garin Abara, Unguwar Abzin ,Garin Namaimai, Garin Amadu, Garin Danjari, Gidan Buta, Kalage, Kaihin Aska, Rukkumi and Garin Dubu.

Others are Kyara, Naguliya, Garin buka, and Kyalkyale.

“You cannot find a single human being in any of these villages, most of the residents are currently taking refuge in the neighbouring Niger Republic,” he said

Another resident of the area who pleaded for anonymity said 12 people were killed within two weeks.

Daily Trust gathered that, at Tsamaye village five men were shot by the bandits but only one died while the rest were receiving treatment in the hospital.

Also, three persons were killed on July, 7 2021 when bandits raided Kurawa village around 11pm.The deceased are, Alhaji Aware, Zayyanu Dalha and Malama Ladi.

The bandits also attacked a village called Dangari in Gatawa district on Friday, July, 30 and killed three persons who were identified as Alhaji Amadu, Sanusi Dan Biba and Malam Janyo.

They were valso said to have killed three persons at Kalage village on August, 4th whose names were given as Bilya Agada, Isaka Suntau and Rufa’i Ibrahim. At Zurudu village, they killed one Shamsu Halilu and wounded one Dahiru Rabi’u on August, 7 it was gathered.

Similarly, they killed one victim at Garin Idi village same day who was identified as Ayuba Muhammad and robbed his son of his motorcycle while also injuring one, Abdussalamu umaru who is now admitted in a hospital in Maradi, Niger Républic.

It was gathered that, three persons were killed in a raid on  Tarah and Garin Hullo village on Sunday, August, 8 around 11:30pm.

According to a source, the gunmen had forced residents of Makuwana village to pay the sum of two million naira to avert attack.There were also reported killings and abductions in other parts of the zone.

The Commissioner for Security Matters, retired Colonel Garba Moyi, who confirmed the attacks, said the bandits were also attacking places in Tangaza, Illela and other parts of the state.

“Residents are complaining that security operatives, especially army are not responding to distress calls.In fact, they said most of the attacks came after army show of force in their areas,” he alleged.

However, the Spokesman of the 8 Division of the Nigeria Army, Major Adamu Yahya Ngulde dismissed the allegations as tissue of lies, saying the army was always in hurry to respond to distress calls as directed by the General Officer Commanding the division.

“The GOC had directed them army to respond to any distress call and to ensure timely rescue of kidnapped victims but in doing so they should be cautious of ambush. Just last two weeks, the Garrison Commander led a clearance operation along that axis,” he said.

On the alleged withdrawal of troop deployed to the area, he said there was nothing like that. “In fact, the current Chief of Army Staff has injected more troops to deal with banditry in the region,” he said.

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