Bandits yesterday abducted the Emir of Kajuru in Kaduna State, Alhaji Alhassan Adamu, his daughter and four grandchildren.
The abduction came barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered security agencies to respond to the threat of bandits in the language they understood.
While some of the bandits were attacking the palace, others attacked three other houses in the vicinity and abducted nine people, among them a nursing mother.
The gunmen invaded the emir’s palace in a commando style, took over the area and shot sporadically into the air to scare away anyone who might want to resist them.
The palace of the emir of Kajuru is located in Kajuru town, headquarters of Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, not far from Kachia Road, along the same axis where 121 students of Bethel Baptist High School and about 15 residents of Ungwan Gimbiya in Chikun Local Government Area were kidnapped recently.
The Emir, Adamu, who is said to be over 80 years, is a second class emir in the Kajuru Emirate, one of the emirates created a few years ago by Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Mohammed Jalige, confirmed the attack. Jalige said the emir was kidnapped alongside 10 members of his immediate family.
The PPRO said the police were saddened by the development. He added that the command had deployed policemen to rescue those abducted.
A former councillor from the area disclosed that the bandits came into the community about 12.30am and broke the gate to the palace.
He said: “After breaking the gate to the palace, they went inside and started breaking down doors after doors. “They kidnapped the emir, his daughter and four grandchildren. The bandits also entered three other houses and abducted nine people, including a nursing mother.”
The former councillor said the bandits came in large numbers and surrounded the emir’s residence. He added: “Soldiers came about 3.30am after the bandits had fled with their victims.” The PPRO, Jalige, said in a statement that the attack occurred about 2.34am.
He said: “The Kaduna Police Command, through the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Kajuru, Kaduna, is in receipt of an unfortunate report on the kidnap of the Chief of Kajuru, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Alhassan Adamu, in the early hours of today 11th July, 2021.
“The incident occurred about 0234hrs when bandits, in large numbers, invaded Kajuru town, shot sporadically and gained access into the chief’s residence where they abducted him and 10 members of his immediate family.
“Notwithstanding, the joint patrol of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), conventional police and the Nigerian Army attached to Kajuru Local Government Area are currently engaged in search and rescue mission around the forest for a possible rescue of the victims while IGP’s tactical units have been contacted for technical support.
“The command is saddened with this incident and it’s not relenting in ensuring a lasting solution to the current upsurge of criminality in the state.
“Members of the public are urged to remain calm and should always support the police and other security agencies with credible information that will enable them to curtail any possible attack on innocent citizens before it happens.”