In a swift action that sends jitters down the spines of Nigerians, gunmen have stormed many places and abducted hapless Nigerians.
The abductions are coming barely two days after the chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Nasarawa State Philip Tatari Shekwolo was abducted and murdered by yet to be arrested gunmen.
Sequel to the abduction of the Nasarawa APC chairman, many Nigerians including 9 ABU students and about 12 senior policemen were abducted just as many others were killed by marauding gunmen.
The dust generated by the flurry of abductions did not settle when gunmen again struck Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria and kidnapped a lecturer, abduct minister’s brother, a doctor in Kogi, a priest in Abuja and slaughter father and son in Kano.
The incidents of kidnapping across the country have assumed a threatening dimension with more reports of abductions and killings over the last 48 hours.
Armed men early morning, yesterday, stormed the main campus of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and abducted one of the institution’s lecturers, his wife and daughter.
The lecturer, Dr Ibrahim Bako, is of the Physiology Department and was abducted at his residence in the university’s Area BZ staff quarters.
News that filtered out earlier, especially in the social media, had it that a renowned professor of medicine in the university, Girei Bakari, was also kidnapped.
However, when our correspondent made attempt to confirm his abduction, Professor Bakari picked up the call and said: “I am hale and hearty. Alhamdulillah. I am not the one. It was one of our colleagues. We pray for his safe return.”
Confirming the abduction of Dr Bako, the Director of ABU’s Public Affairs Unit, Malam Awwal Umar, said the gunmen went into the campus at about 12:50 am.
Umar added: “The kidnappers invaded the house of the lecturer on Sardauna Crescent, Area BZ. They went away with him along with his wife and daughter. The university security division quickly informed the operatives of police intelligence response team that advanced to the scene.
“There was an exchange of fire between the kidnappers and the mobile police operatives. When it was clear that they will be overpowered, the kidnappers ran into the bush along with the victims. As the police went after them, the kidnappers then released the wife and the daughter, but went away with the husband.”
He said the Inspector General of Police, other security agencies and relevant government establishments had been informed of the unfortunate incident.
The vice chancellor, he said, has urged the university community to remain calm and vigilant to avoid the reoccurrence of the incident.
In a related development, the Head of Engineering Department of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Engr Bello Atiku, who was kidnapped along with the two children of another staff of the institution on Saturday November 14, were released yesterday.
The rector of the polytechnic, Engr Kabir Abdullahi, confirmed this to newsmen, saying that his Chief Security Officer brought back the victims at about 12 noon.
The victims, according to the rector, were taken to hospital for medical examination. He did not confirm the payment of ransom.
Similarly, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted Reverend Father Matthew Dajo of St. Anthony Catholic Church, Yangoji village, Kwali Area Council of Abuja suburb.
A resident of the area, Saleh, said the incident happened on Sunday around 9:47 pm when the armed men invaded the residence of the priest in the area.
He said the hoodlums scaled the fence of the clergyman’s house while others positioned themselves outside. They entered his bedroom and took him away.
According to him, the kidnappers shot in the air to scare neighbours as they took the reverend into the bush at gun point.
When contacted, spokesperson of the FCT police command, ASP Maryam Yusuf, confirmed the abduction of the catholic priest by kidnappers in Yangoji.
Yusuf, in a statement, said the FCT police command had since launched a rescue operation for the priest and urged members of the public to remain calm, as the command has intensified effort to liberate the victim.
Also, gunmen have killed one person and abducted three others in Agwada town of Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Another victim, Alhaji Kan Kau, a Fulani community leader in the North-central state, was attacked in his house in Agwada town.
A witness said gunmen numbering 12 stormed the house by 2 am on Sunday and shot sporadically. The killed one of his sons, injured two wives and abducted him and two children.
The injured are currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi.
When contacted, the Chairman of Kokona LGC, Saidu Kurki, confirmed the story on phone but declined further comments.
On his part, the overseer of Agwada Development Area, Mukailu Salihu, who also confirmed the incident on phone, said 52 empty shells of bullets were found by police at the scene of the attack.
Police spokesman ASP Ramhan Nansel, however, said he had not been briefed on the incident.
Also yesterday morning, gunmen attacked the country home of the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, located at Tofai village in Gabasawa LGA of Kano State where they whisked away his younger brother, Babawuro Tofai.
Daily Trust gathered that the gunmen injured another member of the family whose name was not immediately available but is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Gabasawa town.
Our reporter gathered that the gunmen, numbering over 10, stormed the village at about 1 am on Monday.
Confirming the incident, the Personal Assistant to the minister, Umar Wali, said: “It happened at his family home in Tofai village, Gabasawa LGA. We have not heard from his abductors up till now.
“He is the younger brother to the minister and over 50 years of age, a married man with children.”
The spokesman of the state police command, DSP Abdullahi Kiyawa, was yet to react to enquiries from Daily Trust as at press time.
In another incident, a father and his son were reported to have been killed in the early hours of yesterday at Tumfafi village in Garko LGA of Kano State by people suspected to be thieves.
According to a source at Garko, the father identified as Malam Nuhu who was a farmer and a watchman at a primary school, was found dead together with his son in the early hours of Monday.
The source said the perpetrators slaughtered the father and when the son came to the father’s rescued they stabbed him severally before slaughtering him as well.
The spokesman, Kano State police command, when contacted, said he was in a meeting and promised to call back but didn’t.
In the same vein, kidnappers operating in the eastern flank of Kogi State have abducted the Medical Director of Peace Hospital, Anyigba, Dr Azubuike Joel Iheanacho. It is the second incident in less than two months. Dr Iheanacho was whisked away last Saturday by armed men suspected to be kidnappers.
The state wing of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has petitioned both the security agencies and the state government to intensify action with a view to rescuing the doctor from his abductors.
A statement jointly signed by both the chairman and the secretary of the association, Dr Omakoji Oyiguh and Dr Famotele Tolorunju, respectively, revealed that the suspected abductors stormed his residence around 9.30 pm on Saturday.
According to the statement, Dr. Azubuike was in a car with his wife and other men when the intruders struck and ordered the other occupants out of the vehicle.
In Katsina, the police have said Operation Puff Adder at Habul Mountain, on the fringes of Rugu forest, Safana LGA has led to the rescue of a 55-year-old kidnap victim, Hafsatu Idris.
A statement by the police PRO, Gambo Isah, said the operation was based on the report that bandits in their numbers, armed with AK 47 rifles, had attacked Gammo village, Safana and kidnapped the victim.
Meanwhile, the kidnappers of an imam and 18 other persons have still not contacted families, the affected families told Daily Trust.
The victims were abducted last Friday during Juma’at prayer following a raid on Dutsen Gari community in Kanoma District of Maru LGA of Zamfara State.
Missing NSCDC personnel found dead in Benue
In the meantime, the decomposing body of a personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Inspector Emmanuel Ajama, has been found by security operatives in Benue State.
Daily Trust gathered that the deceased went missing about two weeks ago while on official duties in Gwer West LGA.
Governor Samuel Ortom, yesterday, confirmed that the body of Ajama was recovered by security operatives. He was killed by yet to be identified assailants.
Ortom spoke while playing host to the State Commandant, Sule Okeji, and his management team in Makurdi.