Daredevil gunmen Sunday night stormed Kuregu area, Wusasa, Zaria, and abducted the Head, Department of Agricultural Protection of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi.
Daily Trust gathered that the abductors invaded Professor Aliyu Muhammad’s house at about 10:30pm and whisked him away after killing one of his sons and shooting his nephew, a secondary school student, in the stomach.
Professor Muhammad is also the traditional titleholder of Wazirin Wusasa and is one of the prominent personalities of the area and Zaria at large.
Eyewitnesses, including a younger brother of the victim, Kabiru Muhammad Danlami, told our correspondents that he was with the victim before the incident discussing the planned reopening of the universities in Nigeria.
Danlami added: “I am a lorry driver. So, we had arranged with the prof. that I would be the one to take his loads to Bauchi as schools resume today (yesterday).
“When we finished our discussion, I left for my house when I heard the boys sitting at the gate of the prof.’s house shouting Barayi, Barayi (thieves, thieves).
“Thereafter, sounds of gunshot rented the air.”
He said there were police personnel on patrol at the area at the time of the incident, but could not stop the abductors.
“The policemen present tried their best, because they exchanged fire with the abductors.
“However, it was obvious that the police could not stand the firepower of the gunmen.
“They therefore retreated. Before other security agents arrived, the gunmen had finished executing their nefarious acts,” he said.
When contacted, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, ASP Abubakar Jalige, said he was out of town, but promised to confirm on his return.
My father was planning to go back to ATBU Monday – Son
According to his son, Dr. Khalifa Usman Aliyu, Professor Muhammad was planning to leave for Bauchi on Monday morning before he was abducted Sunday night.
Dr. Aliyu said the kidnappers ambushed his father when he came out from his room to tap up his car glasses.
Speaking with our correspondent at Professor Muhammad’s residence, Dr. Aliyu said the abductors came at about 10:30pm Sunday night and moved straight to the professor’s compound after firing several shots to scare away residents.
He added: “I came back to the house about three minutes before the abductors attacked.
“When I returned to the house, I met my younger brother and his friends at the gate.
“I went inside and met my father, Professor Aliyu Muhammad, in the compound.
“He told me that he came out to tap up the glasses of his car.
“I left him there, but instead of going to my section, I went to the main house.
“About three minutes after, I started hearing gunshots from all angles.
“One of my brothers alerted us that the gunshots were from abductors.
“We all ran for our dear lives. I scaled the fence from the main house.
“Later, I called my brother, Mubarak, to confirm what was happening.
“He told me that they had taken our father and killed my other brother, Abdulaziz Aliyu, 17, a secondary school student. They shot him in the stomach.”
According to Aliyu, after the abductors had succeeded in picking up Professor Muhammad, they broke into the main house where they met a nephew of the professor, Abubakar Kabiru, whom they shot when he attempted to run.
“Later, I returned to the house where I realised that the abductors had riddled my car with bullets, perhaps, thinking that I had hidden inside.
“I managed the car like that to take my two brothers, who were writhing in their own blood, to the hospital.
“Before getting to the hospital however, Abdulaziz gave up the ghost, while Abubakar will undergo surgery today (Monday).”
According to Aliyu, the abductors were yet to contact the family, but confirmed that they came on motorcycles.
The ward head of Kuregu (Mai Anguwa), Alhaji Muhammad Ahmad Amfani, said one of the sons of the abducted professor called him to inform him that the abductors were at the house.
“The security men came, but could not get any of the abductors because they had already left.
“My appeal is for all residents to continue to be praying and we should be vigilant.
“We must know the people living with us and around us.
“It is no time now to trust anybody, but we shouldn’t take laws into our own hands”.
Kaduna State government last night confirmed the incident in a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan.
The government said the abduction in Wusasa was among three most recent armed attacks recorded in the state, in which four persons were killed.
Daily Trust reports that kidnapping in the ancient city of Zaria is becoming a recurrent decimal.
Within the last four months, several incidences were recorded and out of which three incidences involved lecturers of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, ABU and now ATBU.