Kidnappers on rampage in Abuja

RESIDENTS of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, are living in palpable fear as kidnappers now operate freely without hindrance from security operatives.

Around midnight on Thursday, four gunmen scaled the fence to the house of a journalist with Punch Newspapers, Mr Okechukwu Nnodim, in Abuja, shooting sporadically into the air.

After Nnodim told them that he had no money at home, they led him away along with two young children of his widow-neighbour, a teenager and another in his early 20s.

Nnodim and his neighbours live along Arab Road in Kubwa.

Twenty-four hours later, the kidnappers contacted the sister of the journalist who lives in Lagos and asked for a ransom of N10 million. They gave 1.00 p.m. on Friday as deadline for the payment.

A GoFundMe appeal had been lunched for well-wishers to help the family meet the demand while negotiations continued.

The abduction of Nnodim and his two young neighbours were the latest in the long list of kidnappings that have come to public notice.

Between September 2020 and February 4, 2021, at least 100 individuals had been abducted within the FCT where family members paid hundreds of millions if naira to secure their release.

Early in the week, a father and two siblings of Bwari Area Council chairman, Mr John Makama, were abducted around 1.00 a.m. after the kidnappers gained entry into their home, while shooting sporadically into the air.

The kidnappers left a phone number with which to contact them.

On January 26, seven children and an adult were seized from an orphanage in Abaji Area Council.

In November, 22 persons and a Catholic priest were abducted at Pei Leilei and Yangoji, both in Kwali Area Council.

Still in November, a young man was picked from his home in Kubwa by four gunmen who stormed their home after shooting sporadically into their air.

He was picked in the place of his mother who could not scale the fence of their compound that was already locked.

In two separate incidents in October, 18 persons were abducted in Kuje Area Council. While three were picked from their farms, 15 were ambushed while returning from felicitating with a newly appointed political officeholder.

In September 2020, over 30 residents of Tunga Maje, a community located along Zuba-Gwagwalada Road, were taken away at by gunmen who stormed the village in the middle of the night.

On Thursday, the FCT Police Commissioner, Mr Bala Ciroma, and his men visited the home of Nnodim along Arab Road for an on-the-spot preliminary investigation into the incident.

He promised that his men would go after the abductors.


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