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Nigeria: mass kidnappings returns to Abuja

Three men, front, identified as kidnappers of The Bethel Baptist High School students are shown to the media in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021   -  
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Gbemiga Olamikan/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved


Kidnappings and killings have returned to Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja, after over 10 months of silence from the bandits.

Bandits, last week, attacked travelers on the Abuja–Kaduna highway and abducted over 30 people, witnesses and community leaders said.

The abduction took place at Dogon-Fili near Katari, along the Kaduna-Abuja highway in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This is the first time in more than ten months when the security along the road artery was breached.

Also 10 persons were kidnapped in the Dutse-Alhaji area of the FCT, Abuja, after gunmen reportedly dressed as military men, invaded the community.

According to eyewitnesses, the kidnappers, dressed like herders, invaded the estate in the evening around 7:30 pm.

The unfortunate incidents in the areas, bring to the fore the disconcerting reality that kidnappings, often orchestrated by individuals donning military uniforms, persist despite official denials from the police.

A resident, Suileman Ayomi, urged the government to provide more security for the region, saying they are scared because of what happened.

“I am afraid to talk to you because we don’t know who may be the next person, so we appeal to the government to help us with security here and in the whole country,” he said.

“The Fulanis are mainly the problem, sometimes you see them with arms and no body to caution them, they walk freely with machetes and other arms, so they should be controlled and put them in order,” said another resident, Charles obodo.

Abuja, a city known for its status as the political and administrative hub of Nigeria, is grappling with a rising tide of kidnappings that seemingly know no bounds.

A Security expert, Dr Jonathan Onoja Isaac says the government should give an account of the reasons why insecurity in the FCT has increased.

“When we begin to have insecurity in Niger, in Kogi state, in Nasarawa and Plateau state, it tells you that the FCT is not secured because these are direct boarders that relate with the capital because people travel to Nasarawa, to Niger state to Kogi and to Benue on a daily basis.”

According to Isaac, the government should be faulted for not having the statistics of landlords with their tenants that live in the various suburbs of the city.

“We are talking about insecurity in the FCT when we cannot profile the different people resident here, there are people parading the city every day without profiles, there are foot soldiers who parade and nobody knows what they do. They don’t even have jobs but they go out every day,”

He reiterated that the welfare of Nigerians must be prioritized, adding that we must also begin to talk about education, as one thing that has hindered the progress of the fight against insecurity is illiteracy.

“So what sort of security do we have? When we do not have designated check points for people to be screened on a daily basis. The only time we see check points is when there is a court case or the authority is travelling,” he added.

However, according to a recent report from a local media, one of the six sisters abducted in the Bwari area council of the Federal Capital Territory on January 5, has been reported dead in captivity.

The new development has elicited outcry as many Nigerians have taken to the social media to lament the incident.

From January 2021 to June 30th, 2023, 40 kidnap cases were recorded in FCT Abuja, with a staggering 236 victims.

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