Rampaging gunmen abduct 45 in Zamfara, shoot one dead

  • Abductors collect N15m, free twin sisters

Gunmen abducted a woman and 44 others between Thursday and Saturday morning in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State. This was as the twin sisters abducted over a month ago at Dauran town in Zurmi Local Government Area, while distributing their wedding cards, were released on Saturday evening after the payment of N15 million ransom.

On Thursday morning, the gunmen laid an ambush on Kwaren-Shinkafi Road, abducted 35 passengers inside a truck and forced them into the bush. The victims were on their way to the Shinkafi weekly market.

Reliable sources said the victims were abducted while struggling to free the truck which got stuck in the sand. One of the sources added that the bandits appeared in large group on motorcycles, armed with sophisticated rifles, surrounded the victims and took them captive.

It was learnt that on Saturday, 11 other people including a lady working as Village Community Mobiliser (VCM) were also kidnapped in Kware village under the same local government, out of which one victim was allegedly killed.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Shehu Muhammed, said already a powerful anti-crime squad had been dispatched to the troubled area. He said all the needed security organs, including the military, were fully mobilised to comb the bush and track the suspected hideout of the bandits.

Shehu added that the police would do everything possible to track down, arrest and bring the perpetrators to book. Meanwhile, the twin sisters were held for over a month over the inability of their family members to raise the N100 million earlier demanded by the kidnappers who later reduced it to N15 million.

It was learnt that the money was raised through contributions from the family members, politicians and individuals while the largest contribution came from Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa. Last Wednesday, the abductors released an audio with the voice of a family member of the twins, Ibrahim Abubakar, and one of the victims, Hassana, in a telephone conversation.

In the audio, the kidnappers threatened to kill one of the girls if the ransom was not paid at a given period. They said the ransom was reduced to N15 million and should quickly be paid or else they would kill one of the victims.

Abubakar, who is the brother of the twins, told our correspondent on the phone that before the victims were released, the family members had to get contributions and donations from relations and other individuals.

According to him, the contributions were added to the N6 million realised from the sales the family property. He said: “We are only able to generate N6 million from the family members.

This was added to what politicians, traders and the ordinary people contributed to make up the N15 million demanded.” Immediately the news of the release of the twins filtered into town about 6.30p.m. last Saturday, people from within Zamfara and beyond started rejoicing. They thanked the Almighty for answering people’s prayers for His intervention to save the lives of the twin sisters.

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