At least 19 people have been kidnapped by gunmen in Ogu and Tegina communities in Rafi Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State.
The Chief of Staff to Rafi LGA Chairman, Mohammed Mohammed, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Monday.
He, however, had to place telephone calls to some residents of the affected communities for more information.
Efforts to reach the police authorities to confirm the incident proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer in Niger, Wasiu Abiodun, did not pick his calls or respond to messages sent to him.
A resident of Ogu, Kamal Wayam, decried that the attackers stormed the community on Sunday morning and started shooting into the air.
“The gunmen in their large number arrived in Ogu on motorcycles and before we knew what was happening, they started shooting into the air.
“They ransacked people’s houses and whatever valuable they could lay their hands on, they carted away,” Wayam said during his conversation with Mohammed.
He added, “They also abducted six persons from Ogu. Four of the persons abducted were members of one family while the other two were visitors to the community.”
Ogu is a settlement close to Wayam, another community about two kilometres from Kagara, the headquarters of Rafi LGA.
Similarly, the attack on Tegina community was said to have happened at about 12:30am on Monday with 16 people abducted.
“The gunmen entered the room of my daughter that night, but she hid herself under the bed, while her husband went up the ceiling,” Sani Gamachindo, a resident of the community, told Mohammed,
He added, “When the gunmen entered their room, they spent like 30 minutes and ate almost all the food in the kitchen. Thank God they were not abducted, but 16 persons were kidnapped.”
The latest attacks in Rafi LGA came barely four days after gunmen abducted a youth leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the District Head of Gunna, and two children of two health workers in Garin Gabbas and Yakila communities in the local government.
Elsewhere, a pastor with the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Jeremiah Ibrahim, was killed by gunmen in Chukuba community in Shiroro LGA.
The clergyman who was serving at the branch of the church in Kuta was murdered on Friday last week.
A senior official of the church in Minna, who pleaded anonymity, said Pastor Ibrahim had gone to check his farm in Chukuba and decided to visit a colleague who was the resident pastor of Chukuba where he was attacked and killed.
“This is coming barely two weeks after six missionaries of ECWA and the wife of one of them were abducted,” he added.
He stated that the clergyman has since been buried
Residents of Rigachikun under Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, have fled their homes following the killing of a pregnant woman, Aisha Muhammed, by gunmen, who also kidnapped her husband. Ibyson Fortes’ Blog gathered that the incident took place on Tuesday after the woman and her husband were taken away from their residence by the miscreants. A resident of the area told SaharaReporters that insecurity has forced many of them to flee the area.
He said, “Since last week, we here in Rigachukun and other parts of Kaduna have been experiencing high rate of kidnapping. Residents now struggle to put money together to pay ransom for their family members abducted by these kidnappers.”
A woman, who moved to Abuja over the weekend from Rigachukun said, “Kaduna is now unsafe and very scary. That was why we decided to move.
“It is a difficult and expensive decision, but it is also the only option for us.”
Panic in Akwa Ibom community as gunmen attack church, shoot one
There is panic in Inen Ikot Esse village in OrukAnam local government area of Akwa Ibom, as gunmen suspected to be cultists invaded a Pentecostal church and shot one of the church elders identified Elder Friday Ufenang.
It was gathered that the suspected cultists numbering over 10 had stormed the church premises and went straight to where church officers were praying before the commencement of service and shot Ufenang in the head.
According to an eyewitness Mr Sunday Ibanga, the worshippers took to their heels when the hoodlums started shooting in the air within the church premises. He explained that a new pastor posted to the church reached out to the church headquarters for a vehicle before the victim was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Gunmen on wee hours of Friday allegedly stormed a Kaduna suburb called Barkallahu where they kidnapped and went away with seven persons.
Barkallahu is a community opposite the National Teachers Institute (NTI), along Zaria Road, Kaduna, in Igabi local government area of the State.
The bandits were said to have invaded the community at about 1:30 am on Friday, shooting sporadically and preyed on armless citizens including a family of five.
The Kaduna State Police Command has been silent on the activities of the armed kidnappers and bandits in the State as no official statement has been released by the Command in response to the recent series of kidnapping including that of four schoolchildren and a female teacher in Chikun whose whereabouts are unknown barely a month they were abducted from their school.
A family head, Abdulsalam Haruna, hinted that the bandits broke into his house and abducted his wife and four children, two of whom are students of the Federal University, Malumfashi, Katsina State.
He said the hoodlums also abducted two of his neighbour’s children.
According to him, the bandits also attacked two other houses, including that of a retired director in the Kaduna State Ministry of Education, but did not abduct anybody or take anything.
In a telephone interview with a media source in Kaduna on Friday, Haruna said: “The incident happened at about 1:30 am. They broke my gate and came into my compound. They broke the door to my house and ordered everybody to follow them.
“They went away with my wife and four of my children, two of whom are students of the Federal University, Malumfashi, Katsina State.
“They also attacked my neighbour and went away with two of his children.
“Two other houses, including that of a retired director in the Kaduna State Ministry of Education, were also attacked, but they did not kidnap anybody or carry anything there.
“We alerted the security personnel but by the time they arrived the bandits had escaped with the victims.”
Suspected bandits have killed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Gidan Madi police station in Tangaza local government area of Sokoto state.
They also killed another police officer before abducting two wives of a prominent businessman in the area.
The marauders were said to have struck around 1am on Thursday.
It was said that the policemen were ambushed and killed by the bandits while trying to rescue the abductees.
Another account said that the bandits first stormed the station, killed the DPO and one inspector of police before abducting the housewives at their residence.
It was said that the bandits went away with the guns of the slain officers.
However, the spokesman of the Sokoto state police Command, ASP Muhammad Sadiq confirmed the attack to Daily Trust.
“At the moment, it is confirmed that there was an unwarranted attack on the Gidan Madi Divisional Headquarters last night.
“I enjoin us all to await further information on the attack at the conclusion of investigation that had already been directed by the Commissioner who is at the moment conducting an on the spot assessment of the Division, please,” he said.