Bandits have kidnapped 45 people from communities in Southern Kaduna, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has alleged.
However, the police authorities in the state did not respond to the claim when LEADERSHIP made effort to verify it. SOKAPU said yesterday that the bandits have demanded N200 million for the release of their captives.
In Niger State, bandits have killed four residents and abducted 15 others.
Although the president of SOKAPU Awemi Dio Maisamari said the terrorists who have made contact and demanded N200 million ransom, claimed to have only 40 persons in their possession.
The group said the whereabouts of the five persons not in the hands of the abductors is worrisome.
The statement issued by the union reads in parts, “There is still no breathing space for communities in Southern Kaduna. Terrorists, bandits have continued to plunder and wreck communities in the Southern state. The latest are the mass abductions that took place on the 12th and 13th of September, 2022 at Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru LGA of Southern Kaduna.
“On the first day (12th September), 6 people were abducted in a night raided by the daredevil terrorists at Ungwan Fada part of the town.
“With no measures put in place to forestall recurrence, the following day (13th September), the terrorists stormed the Cherubim and Seraphim Church during a night vigil programme at the Bayan Kasuwa quarters of Kasuwan Magani town at around midnight. They succeeded in carting away more than sixty people from the church and neighboring houses. However, they could not be able to take all of them away because some were little children, aged or had health challenges.
“While retreating with their captors to their camps, they attacked Janwuriya village, a few kilometres from Kasuwan Magani and abducted two more persons, as of now, 45 persons have so far been confirmed abducted.
“But yesterday, 18th September, 2022, the terrorists made contact with some persons in the town via phone calls and claimed that only 40 persons were held by them. They demanded for a ransom of N200 million, but negotiation is still on going. We don’t know the identity or the fate of the 5 missing persons yet.
“In other communities in Kajuru and Chikun LGAs, the occupying terrorists cohabit with the locals where the locals are treated like captives. They are terrorised at will, making it difficult or impossible for them to till or harvest their farms. As a result, most early maturing crops are being left to rot on the farm. This is a daily experience in most occupied communities in Southern Kaduna”.
SOKAPU also disclosed that in the last few months, Southern Kaduna has also seen an unusual influx of thousands of herds of cattle and herdsmen from neighbouring states, alleging that they indulge in deliberate farm land destruction often at night and stealing of ripe farm crops and intimidation of farmers.
“Hundreds of hectares of crops bearing farmlands valued in millions of Naira have been destroyed. Worse hit are Sankwab, Gora Gida, Warkan, Ashong Ashui, Abuyab, Zamandabo, and Shiliam communities, in Atyap Chiefdom, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area in Southern Kaduna.
“Numerous, often clandestine agreements in many communities with suspected herdsmen and their fronts have yielded no positive result. The Sector S7 Commander of Operation Safe Haven held a meeting of herdsmen, host community leaders and farmers on Wednesday, 14 September, 2022 at Kafanchan.
“At the meeting, desperate victims of the herdsmen devastation told the sector commander that they were tired of holding fruitless meetings only for the violence to increase. This makes the meetings appear to serve the purpose of window dressing only.
“We know that our security agencies and personnel have the capacity to rout these enemies of the people and the state because their routes, locations and sometimes, even collaborators within and without are well known. SOKAPU is also not unaware of the immense suffering and sacrifices being made by our security forces, for which we appreciate.”
When the Kaduna police command spokesperson DSP Muhammed Jalige was contacted on his mobile for reaction, he did not pick the calls.
The Niger incident came a week after two vigilantes were killed in Ebbo, Lapai local government area by bandits. They had launched another attack killing four people and abducting 15 others in Fapo in the same area of Niger State.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the bandits numbering about 30 launched the attack at about 6 am on Monday shooting randomly at the villagers from different directions of the village.
It was learnt that the bandits divided themselves into different groups and entered the village through different directions.
A resident of the area, Idris Danlami said that “the well-armed men stormed the village in their numbers about 30, shooting sporadically while carrying out the attack.
“We have never experienced such attack before now, the attack is horrible considering the numbers of death recorded as well as injuries we just buried four people, eight injured and they left with 15 people mostly women,” he said.
He said the attack took the entire villagers and security men by surprise , making it difficult for them to react immediately.
When contacted the police public relations officer (PPRO) Niger State command DSP Wasiu Abiodun confirmed the attack but said the details were sketchy.