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Kidnappings: Civil servants cut travel to home towns

….as rural schools teachers close early Following the upsurge in cases of kidnapping and killings by armed men within the last one month across some…

  • ….as rural schools teachers close early

Following the upsurge in cases of kidnapping and killings by armed men within the last one month across some rural communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), some civil servants working in the city and area councils’ headquarters have cut down travelling to their villages for the weekend for fear of falling victims, findings by Aso Chronicle have revealed.

Also, teachers posted to some rural primary schools, especially in some communities under  Kuje, Kwali and Abaji area councils where kidnappers have been terrorizing residents, now close early for fear of being caught up in any likely attack.

A civil servant, who is a native of Zagabutu in Kuje Area Council who simply identified himself as Ibrahim, said he has not been able to visit his village in the past three weeks because of the incessant cases of kidnapping by the armed bandits in the area.

He said he normally visited his village every Friday after close of work in Kuje, adding however, that since the cases of kidnapping and killings were taking over most of the communities in the area, he could no longer go to the village.

“Actually, I travel every Friday to Zagabutu after I close from work, but since this issue of kidnapping, especially the recent one in neighbouring Pegi village, honestly, I don’t feel safe travelling.

Ibrahim, who is a level 12 civil servant, said though his family is at the village, he now mostly speaks with them on telephone every morning and at night to ascertain how they are faring, even as he said it was sad that he could not visit his ancestral village regularly.

“In fact, I am not happy that, today, I cannot visit my village while my family is there, because of fear of being kidnapped. I want to appeal to the government to, as a matter of urgency, deploy enough security agents to some of the villages to help checkmate these bandits,” he appealed.

Another civil servant, Elisha Musa, who works in Kwali Area Council, while speaking with our reporter, said he was also scared of travelling to his village (Yanbabu) because of the rampant cases of the kidnapping along the area.

He said the kidnapping and killing of innocent people around the axis has put fears in him, forcing him to stop travelling to the village for weekend after closing from work every Friday.

“Before now, I travel to the village (Yanbabu) every Friday after I close from work and come back on Sunday evening to resume work early Monday morning, but with the recent cases of kidnapping in some villages in my area, I have to stop for a while,” he said.

Musa said the recent killing of a young man and abduction of his two children by kidnappers at Yebu village has left both the civil servants who are natives of the village, and other residents demoralized, lamenting further that “even farmers in my village now go to their farms in groups for fear of kidnappers,” he said.

“My worst fear is that there are some insiders that give information to these kidnappers whenever any civil servant comes to the village for weekend so that they will go after him, which is scaring me most,” he added.

Also,  Ahmed Yakubu, also a civil servant  in Abaji Area Council from Adagba community, said he has stopped visiting his village following cases of kidnapping reported in some villages in the area.

He said though his community has not witnessed any, but that the way and manner kidnappers were going from one village to another to kidnap people has scared him from travelling to home at weekends.

“To be honest, we have not recorded any kidnapping in my village but the way I always hear of how the kidnappers are going from one village to another to kidnap people, has continued to discourage me from travelling home for weekends,” he said.

Similarly, a primary school teacher in one of the schools in Kuje Area Council, who preferred anonymity confided in our reporter that the incessant cases of kidnapping in the area, has forced most teachers to close early from school.

He said most of the rural school teachers that usually sleep in the villages where they were teaching no longer stay in such communities, as most of them now return to the area council headquarters and report the next day on ‘Okada’ to teach their pupils.

He said most of the rural school teachers that have motorcycles now travel in a convoy from the area council headquarters to their respective schools and return to the town because of fear of kidnappers.

“Like in the school where I teach, I don’t want to mention the village for security reasons and being a civil servant. I always join three of my other colleagues in convoy to the school and return after closing hours.

There are some schools where some of our colleagues close early because of the rampant cases of kidnapping in rural communities,” he said.

A teacher  in one of the LEA primary schools in Dogon-Ruwa community, in Gawu ward of Abaji Area Council, who simply identified himself as Ishaq, said he resides in Gawu town but travels daily basis to Dogon-Ruwa to teach and return to Gawu after closing hours.

‘Honestly, the kidnapping incidents in some villages has sent fear into not only the villagers, but also the teachers in rural schools as their lives are not safe too, that is why whenever I go to Dogon-Ruwa to attend to my pupils, I ride my motorcycle back to Gawu after closing hours, ‘he said.

An educationist, who resides in Kwali, Mr. Emmanuel Abila, said the recent kidnapping and killing of innocent people, especially in rural communities, was affecting both socio-economic activities as well as education of pupils.

He appealed to the FCT administration to, as a matter of urgency, come to the aid of residents of not only Kwali Area Council but the entire FCT by deploying more security personnel to tackle the menace of armed bandits terrorizing residents of the territory.

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