Gunmen kidnap ex-council chairman’s parents, doctor, 14 others in Kuchi, Niger

Gunmen suspected to be armed bandits whose numbers were estimated at about 50, on Saturday night invaded Kuchi Community in Munya local government area of Niger State and kidnapped 17 people in an operation that lasted for almost two hours.

Among those kidnapped were the father and mother of the former chairman of the local government, Mallam Yahuza Mohammed, a medical doctor whose name was not immediately known as of the time of filing this report and two nursing mothers with their two weeks old babies.

A businessman popularly known as Alhaji Albakala who had earlier relocated from the community and now resident in Minna, the state capital had four of his family members abducted in an operation that took place at about 11:00 pm on Saturday.

A source close to the community told our reporter in an interview by telephone that the heavily-armed bandits overpowered the local vigilantes due to their number, even though the live bullets of the bandits could not penetrate the vigilante group.

The source noted the people maintained that the attack by the armed bandits was on weekly basis.

It was further learnt that the Chairman of the local government, Mallam Garba Mohammed Daza had since relocated from the local government to Minna, the state capital with his family members.

Concerted efforts by our reporter to get across to him with the view to confirm the latest attacks did not yield any fruitful result as he did not pick his calls after several attempts.

However, the member representing the constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Andrew Jagaba confirmed the incident but said the security agents have already been mobilized to the troubled communities.

According to him, “in fact the entire community is devastated since last night when the incident happened, the people are now living in fear.

“But as I speak to you now security personnel have been mobilized to the communities and are working on how to rescue the victims because they have not gone far with the people.”

Tribune Online reports that this latest incident was coming barely 24 hours after gunmen killed the village head of Madaka in Rafi local government area of the state, Mohammed Ya’u Zakari Ya’u, about six days after he was abducted.

He was killed after the community failed to raise N850,000 ransom demanded by the bandits for his release.

Testimonies of those abducted alongside the slain village head but later regained their freedom after paying their ransom revealed that the village head died from the severe battery by the bandits and was buried in a shallow grave in the bush.

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