Travellers plying the 100-kilometre Gusau-Funtua road linking Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi to Katsina and many other states, have been put on edge by the resurgence of abductions by armed bandits along the road, Daily Trust on Sunday has learnt.
Travellers told our correspondent that from last Sunday till date, armed bandits had blocked the road and carried out a series of abduction.
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The highway is linking the Sokoto-Kebbi-Zamfara axis with the larger part of the northern states as it remains the only route for those who want to travel to or out of the mentioned states.
Many travellers were kidnapped while others escaped with gunshot injuries in the last five days. The armed men are blocking the road in a broad daylight, a clear departure from their tradition of waylaying travellers at dawn or dusk.
Last Friday, many motorists were stranded in the morning after the armed criminals blocked a stretch from a community called Magazu to Yankara in the neighbouring Katsina State.
Earlier, the armed men blocked and seized travellers at a point few kilometres away from Yankara community in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“Residents from Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara who want to travel to Katsina, Kano, Kaduna and many other states in the North, and even South, will have no alternative other than to forego their journeys. This because the other route, which is Gusau-Kaura Namoda-Zurmi-Jibia, has remained shut for a very long time due to the activities of armed criminals. In fact, the road is terribly unsafe to ply,” a resident Aliyu Sani said.
Another traveller said, “On Thursday, I was driving to Kaduna along the road when suddenly I saw motorists making u-turns in attempts to escape possible abduction by the bandits. They opened fire on vehicles that refused to stop.
“We are urging the authorities to look into the possibility of mounting strong checkpoints along the road, especially at the points they traditionally take positions to kidnap people.”
The spokesman of the state police command, SP Muhammad Shehu, did not answer calls from our correspondent up to the time of filing this report.