Friday, 22nd September 2023

Terrorists allegedly kidnap over 80 youths in Zamfara

By Saxone Akhaine and Abdulganiyu Alabi (Kaduna)
08 April 2023   |   4:04 am
Tragedy struck in Zamfara State yesterday, as terrorists reportedly kidnapped about 80 young people scouting for firewood in the bush.

Abuja-Kaduna Road Kidnapping, Misleading
Tragedy struck in Zamfara State yesterday, as terrorists reportedly kidnapped about 80 young people scouting for firewood in the bush.

The incident that occurred in Wanzamai village at about 8am on Friday, left the entire village in panic mood and confusion as virtually, every household was affected.

Telephone calls put across to the police and government officials over the incident were not successful.

However, parents whose children were among the kidnapped, told the BBC Hausa Service in an interview monitored in Kaduna; that the hoodlums kidnapped their children, both males and females, while on an expedition in the bush to fetch firewood.

According to a parent, it affected all members of the community, saying that they went away with his son on a motorbike.

A woman in the Wanzamai village said her 15-year-old daughter was among those kidnapped.

“We are worried because we don’t know the condition of our children in captivity,” she said.

The terrorists were yet to demand ransom, as of the time of this report.

Zamfara, a rural state in Northwest Nigeria has been an epicentre of kidnapping and other criminal activities perpetrated by criminal gangs, often challenging the state and local authorities as if they were a parallel government with powers to unleash death and other hardships on the rural people.

Rich in gold and other precious minerals, Zamfara State was attractive for the exploitation of resources by local miners and their foreign collaborators, a development that led to the occupation of many mining sites by these non-state actors, and the continued kidnap for ransom by the terrorists.

The military troops have continued to bomb criminal enclaves, but the hoodlums kept on changing locations and pretending to be ready to dialogue for peace, which they often reneged and returned to their tranches to continue with the criminal acts.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan has said that a report published today by a national newspaper, alleging that bandits kidnapped scores of citizens on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway, is false and misleading as no such incident occurred on the Highway, which straddles five Local Government Areas (LGAs) across Kaduna and Niger states.

Aruwan said report with the headline: Bandits Abduct Travellers On Abuja-Kaduna Highway was false. 
Contrary, he explained that the reports received from security agencies and the Kagarko LGA indicated that armed men barricaded the Gwaje village axis of the Kagarko-Jere Road on Wednesday April 5, 2023, and kidnapped an unspecified number of occupants from two vehicles, a Volkswagen Golf Wagon (Reg No. LGT228XA) and Volkswagen Passat (Reg No. FSK556AV). The vehicles were subsequently found empty. 
“From the available facts, the incident did not occur at Iche as reported by the media. The description, which gives Kagarko town as being along Abuja-Kaduna Highway, is likewise inaccurate. 
“The Kaduna State Government expresses its displeasure over the misleading piece of reportage which has unfortunately gained undue traction on social media and beyond.
“The government views inaccurate and misleading reports as a major disservice to the campaign against banditry being prosecuted by officers and men of security forces, at the risk of their very lives.
“The Kaduna State Government is following up closely with security agencies on all issues regarding security and safety of citizens,” Aruwan added. 

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