01 Jan Nigeria: “Bandit Onslaught: Tragic Losses and Abductions Rock Abuja and Niger Communities”
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
In a distressing series of incidents, bandits wreaked havoc in communities bordering the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and Niger State, resulting in the tragic death of at least four individuals and the abduction of 39 others. The audacious attacks unfolded in Kuduru, a town in Bwari Area Council of the FCT, Abuja, as well as Garam and Azu communities in neighboring Niger State.
The bandits first struck Garam in Niger State on Saturday, December 23, where they killed a pastor affiliated with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and kidnapped 13 others. Just days later, on Thursday, December 28, they targeted Kuduru in Abuja, located near Garam, kidnapping 18 individuals. The following day, Friday, December 29, the bandits extended their rampage to Azu in Niger State, resulting in the tragic deaths of three people and the abduction of eight others.
Eyewitnesses revealed the harrowing details of the attacks, underscoring the ruthless nature of the bandits. In Garam, the assailants initially entered the wrong house, seizing two boys who later led them to their intended target. The unfortunate pastor from RCCG was abducted in the presence of his wife and three children, with the bandits displaying utter disregard for human life.
In a particularly heart-wrenching incident, the pastor’s wife, realizing she had left her six-month-old baby behind, sought permission from the bandits to retrieve the child. Accompanied by the only female among the bandits, she made her way back to the house. However, impatience on the part of the female bandit led to her abandoning the pastor’s wife, who was subsequently left behind as the bandits left with their other captives.
Further reports revealed the bandits’ audacity in seeking out a military personnel’s house, demanding the rifle and uniform from the wife. The woman informed them that her husband was on duty, but this did not deter the bandits, who went on to kidnap two of the military officer’s children.
In the midst of the chaos, 13 individuals were abducted, while the five-year-old son of the slain pastor was abandoned by the bandits near a riverside due to the difficulty of crossing the river. Fortunately, a vigilance team tracking the bandits rescued the young boy, providing a glimmer of hope amid the tragedy.
These disturbing incidents highlight the escalating security challenges faced by communities in the vicinity of the FCT and Niger State. The audacious attacks by the bandits not only underscore the need for urgent and comprehensive security measures but also emphasize the importance of community vigilance and collaboration in the face of such threats. As authorities grapple with these challenges, the affected communities are left mourning the loss of lives and grappling with the trauma inflicted by these brazen acts of violence.