Mother of the three children abducted by bandits who raided Government Girls Comprehensive Secondary School Moriki, Zamfara State, on May 2, Friday, accused the state government of failing to intervene in payment of the N1.5m ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
She decried the shabby manner she was treated while soliciting the intervention of the state government on payment of the N1.5 million demanded as ransom.
This came as gunmen abducted seven persons, including a three-month-old baby and his mother at Kanoma village in Maru local government area of Zamfara State, even as five persons working with an oil firm in Rivers State were kidnapped yesterday.
Bandits had attacked the school and made for the students’ hostel but couldn’t get access. They, however, kidnapped the three children of the woman, Hadiza Abdulkadir, who is a staff of the school.
But the state Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Muhammad Sanda Danjari Kwatarkwashi, denied the allegation, saying the government was not even aware of the ransom demand.
However, Abdulkadir, who spoke exclusively with Vanguard at her village in Zurmi Local Government Area, said she decided to take her case to the state government when she could not raise the ransom but was turned down.
She explained “After the the bandits called and demanded N1.5 million, I took the matter to the school authorities where I work as a caterer, but the school principal told me to go to Zamfara State Feeding Agency in Gusau and appeal to them for help.
‘’At the office of the Agency, I was left unattended to for five hours and later they told me that government had no money and that, therefore, there was nothing they can do for me.
“Shocked by the manner I was treated, I ran back to the Chairman of Zurmi Local Government Area who is also my relative and asked for his intervention but he told me to look elsewhere as they have no money to pay the ransom.
“I was also advised to meet the wife of the governor-elect but the story turned out to be the same as she politely told me that she could not be of help.
“I am perplexed over the manner I was maltreated by my employers and the government. I have been working for the state feeding agency for 17 years and have spent all these years in the kitchen, to the extent I am even on the verge of losing my sight.
“Earlier this year, I told my kitchen master that I would not be able to continue with this work as smoke has damaged my sight, but he advised me to keep on as I have no other means of livelihood.”
She disclosed that one of her daughters who was abducted is a student of Gwadabawa polytechnic, lamenting that she was supposed to be in school at present.
In another attack in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, gunmen abducted seven persons, including a three-month-old baby and his mother at Kanoma village, while two people were killed during the attack, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
Ibrahim Muhammed, a resident, was quoted as saying that the bandits in their hundreds, besieged the area around 3 am on Tuesday, adding that the attackers fired gunshots sporadically to scare the residents away.
“It was while they were scaring the people with gun shots that they killed the two victims who came out in the confusion.
“We tried to raise the alarm to security agencies who were stationed in different places along Sokoto/Gusau road, but everyone was afraid of being sighted by the assailants who wielded sophisticated weapons,’’ he explained.
He said the gunmen went to the residence of one Dan Haja, a business man, beat him with iron rods and inflicted serious injuries on him after which they went away with his wife, who is a nursing mother, and her three-month-old baby.
He also said the bandits moved to the house of Sani Abdullahi, a former government official, and picked him along with six other persons and disappeared.
“Later, they (gunmen) called to demand for a ransom of N50 million for release of those abducted,” Muhammad said.
When contacted, Mohammed Shehu,
spokesman of the state police command, confirmed the attack, saying “from the report we received, no one was killed and a total of eight persons, mostly women and children, were abducted by the attackers.”
He said the command’s tactical and anti-terrorism units had been deployed in the area to trail the bandits, adding that peace had been restored to the area.
He urged members of the public to always report such attacks or suspicious movements in good time to assist security agents.
Five kidnapped in Rivers
In the Rivers incident, no fewer than five persons working at an oil facility in the high sea at Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state were kidnapped.
A source, who did not want his name in print, alleged that the five oil workers were said to have been kidnapped within the OML-55 operational area of an indigenous oil company, Belemaoil Producing Limited in Akuku-Toru LGA.
According to the source, the oil workers are personnel of a subsidiary of the NNPC, Integrated Data Services Limited, IDSL, and a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, BGP, who are contractors of Belemaoil.
The source said: “They were working at a site of ongoing Seismic Operation by Belemaoil when they were abducted on Monday, May 13, 2019.”
Meanwhile, the Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers has condemned the kidnap of the five contract workers of Belemaoil by unknown gunmen.
The Chairman, Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, King Kroma Eleki, said the act was inimical to the development of the area and could cause social disorder there.
He called for immediate and unconditional release of the oil workers and for improved security along the Kula waterways.
Eleki further lamented that the kidnap of the five oil workers confirmed their earlier position that an oil multinational company was colluding with some persons in Kula to undermine the security of the area in a bid to forcibly resume oil operation in Kula territory.
Also speaking, the Secretary of Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, King Bourdillon Ekine, wondered why such criminal act would be targeted at the Seismic Operation of Belemaoil that had employed over five thousand youths in the area since the operation began last year.
However, the Public Relations Officer of Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, when contacted, said the police were aware of the incident.
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Omoni noted that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Belel, has ordered a manhunt of the kidnappers, adding that the victims would be released unhurt.
He said: “We are aware of the incident. The commissioner of police has ordered a serious manhunt to ensure that the victims are released unhurt and unconditionally.”
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