Gunmen Kidnap 15 In Abuja, Bayelsa, Katsina

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted three persons along Gaube-Kabbi road in Kuje Area Council, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Also, a traditional ruler in Brass Local Government identified as Chief Eriakuma Moses and six  other travellers along Odioma waterways in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State were yesterday kidnapped by sea pirates.

A resident of Gaube, who preferred anonymity, said the incident happened on Tuesday around 3:12pm when the kidnappers flagged down a pick-up van and whisked away the three occupants.

He said the pick-up driver left Gaube heading to a farm near Kabbi village to load charcoal, when he ran into the kidnappers who were in large numbers, moving into a forest around the area.

He said while the kidnappers were crossing the road, they sighted the pickup van, pointed their guns at them forcing the driver to stop.

“The driver and his conductor as well as the owner of the charcoal, a woman, were abducted,” he said.

The spokesperson of the FCT police command, ASP Maryam Yusuf, was yet to reply to a text message sent to her phone to confirm the latest the kidnap incident.

Daily Trust gathered that the abducted travellers were returning to Nembe Local Government Area from Brass Island when the gunmen attacked their boats along the waterways and took them into the creeks.

According to some maritime workers in the state, activities of sea pirates have paralysed marine transportation in Nembe and Brass local government areas of the state in recent times as many maritime workers have been forced stop work leaving passengers stranded.

They said sea pirates have kidnapped over seven people in the last one week,  heightening fear in the local communities.

“Sea pirates have attacked local boats carrying foodstuff to and from the hinterland, robbing and dispossessing travellers of their valuables, maiming and killing some of their victims,” one of the sources said.

A publisher of one of the community newspapers in Bayelsa State, Atlantic Express, Chief Bomolayon Ereku, told our correspondent that he could not travel to Yenagoa from his country home of Akassa due to protests by maritime workers and boat owners over attacks by sea pirates.

Police spokesman in Bayelsa State SP Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday, said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mike Okoli, has ordered a manhunt for the kidnappers who attacked speedboats and kidnapped passengers on the Okpoma/Odioma and Nembe/ Brass waterways on February 9, 2021.

“The two separate incidents occurred simultaneously and six passengers were allegedly kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be  seapirates.

“In a joint operation, operatives from the Marine Police, Navy and Joint Task Force ‘Operation Delta Safe’ are combing the creeks to rescue the kidnap victims and apprehend the kidnappers.

“The command appeals to the good people of Bayelsa State to remain calm and volunteer useful information to enable the security agencies to fish out these hoodlums,” the statement reads.

In another incident, no fewer than five people  were abducted, and two wounded after suspected bandits on Sunday stormed Kadisau village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State.

According to locals, the incident happened around 12:30am when the bandits invaded the village and operated for about an hour.

Tasi’u Audu, who escaped unhurt from the attack, said he could not ascertain the number of the attackers but they were many and came on foot.

“When they came around 12:30am, some of them were positioned in strategic places in the village and they kept shooting at people and in the air. Two people were fatally wounded. They abducted five persons including three Qur’anic school students,” he said.

Audi added that the bandits did not loot or steal animals as they usually did. He expressed concern that relatives of those abducted were yet to be contacted by the bandits.

Mustapha Kurma, who was shot in the  lower abdomen said almost all the bandits carried AK47 rifles.

“I cannot say exactly what happened after I was shot. All I know is that we were gathered at the village centre chatting when we heard gunshots and we quickly dispersed. Unfortunately,  a bullet hit me in my lower abdomen and passed through to hit my friend on his left thigh,” he said.

“Security agents were informed by telephone and they swiftly came but the bandits had quickly left the village along with the people they abducted. They did not wait to engage the security agents,”  Kurma added.

In a related development, 17 people abducted at Dan-Raku in Faskari LGA have reportedly regained their freedom, last Saturday, after spending 25 days in captivity.

According to Bala Sadi from the area, the freed 17 were abducted in January at a wedding ceremony.

The bride, her maids, the groom and his relatives were abducted at gunpoint.

Ransom in undisclosed amount was said to have been paid before their release.

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