There seems to be no end to the wave of insecurity sweeping across the country as no fewer than 16 indigenes of Dambatta Local Government Area of the Kano State were on Tuesday killed by gunmen along Abuja-Kaduna highway.
This is even as a district head, youth leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and two others were yesterday kidnapped at Garin Gabbas in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, by bandits, as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje rained curses on the perpetrators.
A source in Dambatta, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the incident leading to the death of indigenes (all males) occurred last Tuesday when the gunmen shot at a tyre of the moving vehicle (Hummer Bus) conveying them from Abuja back to Kano.
The source said the action of the gunmen resulted in a fatal accident which led to the death of the deceased.
Confirming the development yesterday, Kano State governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in a condolence message to families of the deceased, issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, described the attack as devastating and frustrating.
“We were shocked with the bad news of the death of 16 Dambatta indigenes on Abuja-Kaduna highway, who were travelling from Abuja to Kano, as a result of attack from unidentified gunmen. The news is devastating and frustrating.
“May Allah accept their martyrdom and may He punish all the perpetrators of this heinous act. There is nothing more shocking than this.”
He urged people to pray fervently for the repose of souls of the deceased and prayed that Allah gives their families the fortitude to bear the great loss.
“On behalf of the government and people of Kano State, I am condoling with the families of the deceased and the people of Dambatta Local Government over this tragedy. May Allah forgive all their wrongdoings and reward their good deeds,” Ganduje said.
APC youth leader, others kidnapped
Also, suspected bandits have kidnapped a youth leader of the All Progressives Congress in Garin Gabbas in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
The bandits also kidnapped the district head of Gunna in Yakila, also in Rafi Local Government, alongside children of two health workers said to be working at a Primary Health Care centre in the area.
Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Ahmed Inga, who confirmed this, said several members of the communities were still missing.
According to him, this makes it difficult to ascertain the number of other persons who might have been abducted by the bandits.
“We are still gathering details on the attacks. We will keep you updated,” Inga told reporters yesterday.
A member of Yakila community, Zanna Sanusi said the attackers stormed the two communities at about 2:30 am yesterday in large numbers.
He said Garin Gabbas and Yakila communities are still unsettled, with gunmen still laying siege to the communities.
At press time yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Wasiu, could not be reached for comments on the incident.
Police nab 2 transnational kidnappers
Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested two members of a transnational kidnap syndicate involved in the kidnap of a United States citizen in October.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who confirmed this in a statement yesterday, about six weeks after the victim was rescued by US military forces in Nigeria, noted that the victim, Philippe Walton, was kidnapped on October 28 at his farm in Masalata Village in the Republic of Niger.
Walton’s suspected kidnappers, Aliyu Abdullahi, 21, and Aliyu Umaru, 23, both from Sokoto State, were arrested on November 25.
Mba said: “The two suspects, who are members of a 15-man kidnap gang of Nigerian-Nigerien extraction, led by Barte Dan Alhaji and Dan Buda, were arrested, following a special intelligence-led operation aimed at arresting the criminal gang, disrupting and halting other criminal activities by them.
“Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team reveal that the gang was plotting other abductions to avenge the death of their cohorts – four Nigeriens and two Nigerians – who died during the rescue operations.
“The Force is collaborating with its Nigerien counterpart in the investigations to apprehend other members of the transnational syndicate currently at large.”
The police spokesman stated that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, was already working in concert with other members of the West African Police Chiefs Organisation, WAPCO, as part of efforts to tackle transnational crimes in the sub-region.
According to him, this is aimed at deepening intelligence sharing among security agencies in the ECOWAS sub-region and strengthening security along the international borders of member-states.
Mba said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as the police complete their investigations.
The rescue of the American by US forces on Nigerian soil had sparked criticism from some individuals and groups in the country.
While some argued that the operation was proof of the inefficiency of the military, the government condemned the insinuations.
The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, retd, who addressed reporters in Abuja on November 3, insisted that Nigeria is aware of the rescue operation conducted by the US forces.