By Andrew Agbese (Daily Trust)
About 20 people were abducted by gunmen along Abuja- Kaduna expressway on Wednesday.
Those abducted were on their way to Kaduna when they were forced to stop at about12: 30pm, Daily Trust heard.
The armed men ordered the travellers to come down from their vehicles and herded them into the bush near Akilibu village.
A relation of one of the victims told Daily Trust that the news of the abduction was brought to them by a driver who escaped from the gunmen.
He said about eight vehicles were stopped and all the passengers and the drivers were asked to disembark and ordered to walk into the bush.
He said the kidnappers were yet to establish contact with the families of the abductees. “The driver said they were stopping vehicles as they were coming from Abuja in what appeared like an armed robbery operation.
“He told us it was after they stopped that they realised the passengers of the vehicles ahead of them were not in their cars,” the relation was quoted to have said.
The source said the gun men were up to 30 in number.
The driver, the source said, was able to escape after he pleaded to be allowed to take a rest from one-hour journey in the bush.
The abductors agreed due to his age and his health condition but asked one of their men to stay with him until he was able to catch his breath.
He said when the kidnappers had walked some distance and were out of sight the man watching over him decided to track them so he could be sure of the route they were taking.
The driver said it was then that he decided to run away but that no one pursued him.
“When he got to the express way, he found his car with the others where they left them with the keys in ignition holes.
“He returned to Abuja and then alerted the relatives of the four of the kidnapped persons about what happened.”
The family source confirmed that the kidnappers are yet to contact the family but said they had reported the matter to the police.
A statement from one of the family members, Danjuma Bello Sarki, gave the names of four of the persons abducted as Kazah Bulus (Kazzy), El-hajj Idrees Goga, Simon Terna and Al-Amin.
He said, “Up till now no news about them yet. This incident is one too many. More than 40 people in a span of two weeks. The Kidnappers are becoming emboldened day by day.
“It is so sad and scary that the Abuja-Kaduna road which is the major gate way to Abuja from the North West states of Nigeria has become a den of Kidnappers.
“Nigerians plying that road have become so helpless and at the mercy of God. Please let’s put them, Kaduna State and Nigeria in prayers for God to help us put an end to this avoidable menace.”
The police public relations officer ASP Usman Aliyu when contacted said a formal report was yet to be made on the incident but that the police would begin the process of investigation.
Reps summon NSA, ministers, service chiefs
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday summoned the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), the minister of defence, Brig Gen Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd) and that of interior, Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) over the spate of kidnappings in the country.
Also summoned are all service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris. They are to brief the House on why the kidnappings have been going on unabated and the measures being taken to end them.
Adopting a motion by Minority Whip, Yakubu Barde (PDP, Kaduna), the House said kidnappings in many parts of the country, especially Kaduna State, in recent time has reached an alarming stage.
Only last week, a member of the House from Kano State, Garba Umar Durbunde, was kidnapped about 50 kilometres to Kaduna from Abuja on his way to Kano. There were reports that several other people were kidnapped within the last one week.
In his motion, Barde said despite government’s efforts to tackle the menace, “the spate of kidnapping incidents is still on the rise and has even become a daily occurrence in most parts of the country.”
He said in his Chikun/Kajuru constituency the activities of the kidnappers have impacted adversely on the socioeconomic lives of the people as they can no longer move freely to transact their legitimate businesses for fear of being kidnapped.