More details have emerged on the attack at the palace of Alhaji Alhassan Adamu, the Emir of Kajuru.
Daily Trust had reported how bandits broke into the palace of the monarch, whisking him away alongside 13 other members of his family.
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Kajuru town is 37 kilometres away from the Kaduna metropolis.
The town, which is along Kaduna-Kachia Highway, shares a border with Chikun through Kujama, where 121 students of Bethel Baptist High school were abducted last Monday.
On Sunday, bandits in dozens laid siege to Kajuru town in what residents described as a coordinated operation.
“They struck between 12 midnight and 2 am, blocking every pathway and exit of the ancient city before surrounding the monarch’s personal residence,” a witness told Daily Trust.
Our correspondents gathered that at the time the bandits stormed the monarch’s residence and those of his relatives within the vicinity, they also surrounded a military post opposite GSS Kajuru and engaged the military in a shootout that lasted over an hour.
Members of the monarch’s family told Daily Trust that the gunmen gained entrance into the monarch’s residence through a porous pathway.
The bandits broke the main entrance door to gain entrance into the inner chamber of the house where the monarch shared with his wives.
Our correspondent, who visited the town, spoke with the monarch’s second wife, Hadiza Alhassan.
She told our correspondent that the bandits had broken her door and then barked at her to tell them where the monarch was while others hacked on his door.
Bandits were heavily armed, wore military uniforms
She said, “They were heavily armed and all in military uniform.
“I told them Sarki was not around, one of them told me that I would explain by the time they find him while other gunmen continued to hack the door to his room.
“When they succeeded, they yanked off the metal door and Rushed into the room. They brought him out and asked him if he was the monarch and he said yes, so they left with him.”
Hadiza said they also left with the monarch’s 25-year-old daughter, Zainab Alhassan, his 15-year old granddaughter, Zainab Mukhtar, as well as four of his grandsons Muhammad Sa’adanu Musa, Salim Musa, Faisal Musa and Ahmed Mukhtar.
Our correspondent gathered that others abducted include Suleiman Umar who holds the title of Salaman Sarki as well as six other relatives of the monarch including Nazifi Rayyanu, Ayuba Yunusa, Amina Abubakar, Maryam Abubakar, Mardiyya Sani and her one-year-old toddler Mudassir Sani.
The Kajuru Emirate Council in a press conference led by the Galadima of Kajuru, Dahiru Abubakar, said the bandits came in their numbers and occupied all available defensive exit in the town.
He said the bandits had made contact but it is not enough for them to speak about it. He added that they can confirm that the monarch and others are alive.
However, in a statement, the Kaduna State Police Command confirmed the incident but said only 10 people had been abducted.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Jalige Mohammed, had in a statement said a joint patrol of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), conventional police and the Nigerian Army attached to Kajuru LGA were engaged in search and rescue mission around the forest for a possible rescue of the victims while IGP’s Tactical Units have been contacted for technical support.
He said the command is saddened by the incident and is not relenting in ensuring a lasting solution to the current upsurge of criminality in the state.
Monarch had foreknowledge of his abduction
Sarkin Kajuru, Alhaji Alhassan Adamu, who was abducted together with 13 others in the early hours of Sunday had foreknowledge of his abduction and had informed security agents on the threat less than 48hours before the attack.
Relatives and some members of the Kajuru Emirate Council confirmed to Daily Trust that the 85-year-old second class monarch, who ascended the throne in 1978, had sat with security agents on Friday afternoon and informed them about the threat to abduct him.
A government official, who spoke to our correspondent off record, said during the meeting, the military commander in charge of Kajuru had advised the monarch to be weary of his movements and urged the community to improve vigilance.
The government official said the tip-off came after a kidnapped member of the community who regained his freedom on Thursday disclosed that the bandits had asked him to provide the monarch’s contact and on his insistence that he didn’t have it.
They later told him that they had found the number and hinted that they were targeting the monarch.
He said the survivor had upon his release divulged the information to the monarch who in turn sought help from the military personnel stationed in the area.
The Galadima of Kajuru, Dahiru Abubakar, confirmed that they had received intelligence on the impending attack on the monarch but expressed disappointment that there was no repelling or counterattack by security agencies despite being informed of the threat.
Speaking on President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive for the military to decimate bandits, the Galadima said the government must provide an adequate supply of weapons and other logistics while the military should remember that posterity will judge them.
Resident express anger at security, government
Residents of Kajuru town have expressed anger over what they described as incessant abductions which culminated in Monday’s abduction of the Sarkin Kajuru and 13 others.
Residents told Daily Trust that security agents had arrived at the monarch’s home around 4 am; almost two hours after the bandits had left.
Shamusu Isa, who narrowly escaped abduction, said youths had angrily told the security agents to leave as their presence were no longer required.
“The bandits’ operation lasted about two hours and the security agents were nowhere to be found only for them to appear around 4am,” he said.
Mohammed Shuaibu, a resident, told Daily Trust that he escaped through the fence when the bandits came to his house and later hid under a car where he called soldiers stationed in the town but they told him they were also surrounded by the bandits.
Mohammed Dan Asabe Kafinta, who was recently released by the bandits after a ransom of N1 million, explained that abducting their emir was the highest crime committed to the people and described the monarch as a just leader who never discriminates among his subjects irrespective of religious or ethnic affiliation.
Kafinta said many residents had been scared when the bandits invaded the community especially when there was a power outage at the time of the attack.
“We are worried because of his health (Sarki) and his age. We would rather they abduct half of our people than abducting our emir, we are deeply concerned.”