Katsina: Gunmen kidnap Buhari’s district head

Armed men yesterday abducted Alhaji Musa Umar, the district head of Daura (Magajin Garin Daura), the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina State. The kidnappers, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), invaded Umar’s Daura residence at 7p.m. and shot sporadically into the air, forcing bystanders to scamper for safety.


Umar, a retired Customs Comptroller who once contested for the Emir Daura’s stool, had just returned from the mosque where he took part in the evening prayers when the incident occurred. A family source told our correspondent that the kidnappers called Umar on his phone line before they came for him. “The kidnappers told the district head that they were Ramadan gifts to him from the President,” said the source.


According to the source, Umar was expecting the message from the President not knowing it was a ploy by kidnappers to get him. The district head was sitting in front of his house with some people when the gunmen arrived in a Peugeot 406 car. After the gunmen left, the Daura Local Government Chairman, Malam Abba Mato, and hundreds of sympathisers went to Umar’s residence, to discuss the incident. Gunmen have in the recent time continued to terrorise Katsina State. Meanwhile, the police yesterday confirmed the killing of 10 persons by bandits at Gobirawa and Sabawa villages in Safana Local Government Area of the state.


The state Police Public relations Officer (PPRO), SP Gambo Isah, said this in a statement in Katsina. He said that the bandits came on about 150 motorcycles about 6.10p.m. on Tuesday and attacked the two communities.


Isah also said that the bandits rustled a number of animals and took away other valuables after killing innocent people. He disclosed that the command immediately dispatched police patrol teams to the affected communities, engaged the hoodlums in gun duel and chased them away.


According to him, the police are making efforts to arrest the hoodlums. He said: “We will do everything possible to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice and bringing to an end the activities of these rascals.” In March, the bandits abducted Governor Aminu Masari’s 80-yearold mother-in-law, Hajiya Maistiyari. The octogenarian was, however, released a few days later.


Although it was not disclosed whether any ransom was paid for her release. Maistiyari was kidnapped at her residence at 13, Dandume Crescent, Sabon Gari area of Katsina. At the beginning of the year, the governor had raised alarm over the activities of bandits.


Masari said then that Katsina had been overrun by bandits who, according to him, kidnap and harass residents at will. The governor, who spoke at the opening ceremony of an extra-ordinary security meeting in Katsina, said citizens were on a daily basis being harassed by bandits, while kidnappers were on the rampage in the state.


He said: “The Katsina State government organised this oneday joint security and stakeholders meeting to proffer solutions to the state’s current insecurity challenge. Our state is currently under serious siege by armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits who arrest rural people at the grassroots at will and demand ransom, which if not paid, they kill their victims.


“The people of Katsina in the 34 local governments now sleep with one eye closed and the other opened. Our state is in a dangerous situation. Travellers are afraid of being stopped on the highway and arrested by kidnappers who demand ransom.” The governor added that the situation was so bad that some thieves stole some electrical equipment near the Government House at the Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Katsina.


He said: “I am calling on all stakeholders to come out with solutions that will assist the security agencies to discharge their duties. This time around, we should be able to make sacrifices that will make our state safe and will allow people to go about their lawful business without fear of being arrested by armed bandits and kidnappers.” However, the state government was yet speak on yesterday’s abduction of the Daura District Head, Umar.

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