The country witnessed a spate of kidnapping incidents at the weekend in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as in Katsina and Niger states.
On Saturday night, kidnappers abducted the wife and two children of Katsina State legislator representing Bakori Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Dr Ibrahim Kurami.
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The kidnappers stormed the residence of the lawmaker in Kurami village, Bakori Local Government Area of the state, around 9:15pm and shot at a member of the First Aid Group of Islam, Abdulhakim Ubaidu, at the main gate.
This happened nearly a year after the lawmaker himself was abducted.
A resident of the area, who preferred anonymity, confirmed the abduction of the victims.
“Bandits attacked the residence of Hon. Ibrahim Kurami on Saturday and abducted his wife and two children. They also shot one of our members of First Aid Group of Islam. He is currently receiving treatment in Bakori General Hospital”.
He said the lawmaker was not in the house when the gunmen stormed the village.
The bandits, who rode on motorbikes, blocked the Funtua-Katsina road for minutes while the abduction of the Kurami family went on at his home, another source said.
“Immediately after Ishaa’i prayers, we started hearing gunshots in the town. Before we could realise what was going on, they had already positioned themselves in the strategic places of the town to avert any possible move by the residents to engage them,” said Muhammad Kurami.
Residents and vigilantes in the area launched a pursuit after the incident.
Last week, suspected bandits invaded Bakori town and abducted one Alhaji Amu and his two daughters as well as the younger brother of the District Head Bakori, Idris Sule Idris. Up till the time this report was filed, the victims are still with the kidnappers
The State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, could not be reached for comments on the latest incident as his telephone lines were not connecting as of the time of filing this report.
In a related development, gunmen suspected to be bandits have abducted Kabir Muhammed, elder brother of Secretary to Katsina State Government (SSG), Dr Mustapha Inuwa.
Confirming the incident to newsmen, the SSG Director of Press, Abdullah Yar’adua, said the 78-year-old was abducted from his home town in the Danmusa Local Government Area.
“The man was abducted alone while on his farm on Wednesday, September 1, in Diftau, located in Danmusa Local Government Area.
“The matter has since been reported to the security agencies who are on top of the matter, though no demand has been made by his abductors,” he said.
Danmusa is one of the frontline local government areas terrorized by bandits in Katsina State.
Also in Katsina, gunmen have stormed Tafoki village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State, abducting the younger sister of the Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly, Hon. Shehu Dalhatu Tafoki.
Confirming the incident to our reporter on phone, Tafoki said, “Yes, it is true that my younger sister, Asma’u Dalhatu, has been abducted by bandits in the early hours of Sunday.
“They stormed the town around 1am and headed straight to the village head’s residence, which is our family house and kidnapped two of our sisters.
“On their way into the forest, they encountered some members of the vigilante group and exchanged gunfire, and in the process, one of the girls escaped and returned home, but the other could not run away. So, they went away with her,” he said.
Tafoki said Asma’u is a Secondary School leaver who is about to be given out in marriage, saying the kidnappers were yet to demand for ransom.
Similarly, a 45-year-old woman, Mrs Oladapo Bukola, and two of her daughters have been abducted at Pegi community in Kuje Area Council of FCT, Abuja.
They were abducted two days after a father, Abdullahi Benda, and his 23-year-old son, Jibrin Abdullahi Benda, were kidnapped at Yangoji village, in Kwali Area council, of the FCT.
The daughters of the woman involved in the fresh kidnap incident were identified as Moyo Oladapo, 17 years old, and Glory Oladapo, 14 years old.
A resident simply identified as Abednego said the incident happened around 1:04 am on Sunday.
He said the kidnappers, wielding AK-47 rifles, attacked the victims’ house at a resettlement area in Zone A.
He said the kidnappers scaled the fence of the victims’ house and forced the doors open.
The Chairman of Pegi Community Development Association (PECDA), Mr Taiwo Aderibigbe, confirmed the abduction of the woman and her daughters while speaking with our reporter over the phone.
The PECDA chairman decried incessant kidnaps in the area, urging security agencies to come to the rescue of the residents.
“It is quite worrisome that Pegi, Kuje, is being targeted by kidnappers and security agencies are not doing much,” he alleged.
Daily Trust learnt that the woman’s husband, Pastor Gabriel Oladapo, was out of Abuja when the kidnappers struck.
When contacted, the spokesman of the FCT police command, ASP Daniel Y Ndiparya, confirmed the incident, saying efforts were ongoing to rescue the victims
“Efforts are being made by the command to ensure the victims are rescued,” he said.
In another incident, a traditional ruler, Dodo of Wawa, Wawa District in Borgu Local Government area of Niger State, Dr Mahmoud Ahmed Aliyu, has been kidnapped.
A source in the palace told our correspondent that heavily armed kidnappers broke into the palace around 9pm on Saturday and took the traditional ruler away.
“They came on motorcycles, about eight of them, heavily armed. It was only the traditional ruler that was kidnapped. They were dressed in military uniforms,” he said.
He said the abductors had not established contact with the family or palace.
Niger State Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the abduction.
Abiodun said, “Police tactical team and members of the vigilante of the area have been deployed for manhunt of the hoodlums with a view to rescue the victim and arrest the culprits.”
From Tijjani Ibrahim (Katsina), Abubakar Sadiq Isah (Abuja), Abubakar Akote (Minna)