Metro & Crime

Report: Gunmen Kidnap Over 50 Travelers In Sokoto

 

According to a witness, armed gunmen kidnapped at least 50 travelers in Sokoto State. The abductions were confirmed by a Sokoto government official, although the number of victims was not given.

On Sunday, the victims were kidnapped while traveling on the Sokoto-Gusau road.

Although the exact number of people seized during the Sunday morning operation is unknown, a witness claims that over 50 people were abducted.

Several sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the majority of those kidnapped were boarding buses operated by the State Transport Authority, or SPORA.

Yahuza Chika, the general manager of the Sokoto Mass Transit, confirmed the attack to journalists, saying that just one of their buses was engaged, and that the other cars involved were not theirs.

He claimed that two persons on the bus managed to flee, while the rest of the passengers were abducted by the bandits. He didn’t say how many people were stolen from his organization’s bus.

However, Abubakar Umar, a driver traveling from Talata Mafara to Sokoto, claimed that more than 50 persons were abducted during the operation, which lasted more than 30 minutes.

He said: “I was driving when I started hearing gunshots. I had to stop immediately after Lambar Bakura and other motorists stopped too. When the road was cleared, we drove to the spot and they were many vehicles empty parked. I counted three empty SPORA vehicles.”

Another motorist, Isa Mustapha, said the attack occurred few minutes after he drove past the spot.

“From Tureta to Lambar Bakura, you can count more than ten security checkpoints that include police, immigration and soldiers, how then could bandits be terrorising same place every day?

“I left just a little after 11 in the morning and I started getting calls to confirm whether I’ve left the spot because bandits have started attacking people. It’s scary.”

Ahmad Madunaka, a school teacher in Sokoto, said “commuters in the first three vehicles were completely kidnapped and those included the SPORA vehicle.”

Kidnappings for ransom have been widespread in Sokoto and other Nigerian states.

Armed bandits carry out attacks in Sokoto and other states in Northwest Nigeria with the goal of terrorizing locals and making money.

Apart from kidnappings, the bandits assassinate community inhabitants at will. An alpha jet used by the military to attack criminals in neighboring Zamfara State was recently shot down by a group of outlaws.

 

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