…Kaduna-Abuja Expressway, most terrorised
…Enugu- Port Harcourt Road, source of worry
…Benin-Ore, Ibadan-Ife-Ilesa, East-West roads calm
By Charles Kumolu, Deputy Editor
Investigations by Sunday Vanguard revealed that the wave of kidnapping remained high in August as more than 90 people were abducted across Nigeria.
The incidents which happened in some states across the six geopolitical zones, showed the kidnappers becoming more daring in their methods of operation.
The events of August saw the abductors taking victims from their homes and the highways.
Of Nigeria’s 36 states Katsina recorded the highest cases with 50, who were taken from Wurma village in one night by a group of 100 bandits. Though the Police pegged the number at 15, locals said no fewer than 50 people were kidnapped.
Trailing the state is Kaduna, which has emerged one of the hotbeds of kidnappers as 20 confirmed incidents took place.
Zamfara State which before now had been a flashpoint had no major case given what was attributed to the deal between the state government and bandits.
There was also a significant drop in the number of cases in the South West, especially on Ife-Ilesa-Ibadan Expressway and Benin/Ore Expressway which connects the zone to the South-south and South-east geopolitical zones.
The relative calm on Benin-Ore Road was attributed to the clearing of forests at some hotspots.
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Abubakar, said the clearing helped to curb kidnapping and robbery previously experienced on the road.
Within the month under review, major incidents hardly happened on East-West Road and Elele-Owerri Road which had witnessed alarming incidents of kidnapping in the preceding months.
However, Kaduna-Abuja Expressway remains the most unsafe road in the country as most incidents in Kaduna State, happened along the Kaduna stretch of the road.
Last Tuesday, a former governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo narrowly escaped being kidnapped by armed bandits along the road. According to one of his aides, the incident happened when the ex-governor was on his way to Abuja. It was also supported by a video clip.
A breakdown of the state-by-state findings by Sunday Vanguard revealed that on the average, three Nigerians were abducted daily in the last 30 days.
Igwe Sunday Orji and his wife were abducted in Enugu State.
The state Police Command confirmed the abduction of the traditional ruler, who is the king of Obom-Agbogugu, Awgu Local Government Area.
Five persons including a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God ,RCCG, were kidnapped. They were abducted along Sagamu-Benin-Ore Expressway on their way to the church’s congress in Mowe, Ogun State.
Abubakar Idris, a social media commentator was kidnapped in Kaduna. His wife, Khadija Idris said he was abducted at their residence near the Psychiatric Hospital in Barnawa neighbourhood of Kaduna. The incident occurred at1:00 a.m. as Idris was returning home.
Kidnappers reportedly killed a Kaduna-based Living Faith Church Pastor, Jeremiah Omilewa, along Kaduna-Abuja highway.
The late pastor was returning from Abuja with his wife and his son when the kidnappers forced their vehicle to stop and seized them.
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers abducted Mr. Ifeanyi Onyenankeya, a popular blogger in Imo State.
He is owner of two popular news blogs, Okigwe Arena and Imo Arena.
He was reportedly abducted on Monday night at his father’s compound, No. 3, Duru Close, Ekeagbara, Okigwe.
Gunmen reportedly abducted another pastor in Kaduna State.
The pastor was said to be in charge of the Nagarta Baptist Church Ungwan Makiri, close to Udawa in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The pastor was said to have been abducted by heavily armed men numbering over 20.
A Divisional Police Officer, DPO, was allegedly kidnapped along the Benin-Asaba expressway last Friday.
The incident reportedly occurred between the Onicha-Ugbo and Issele-Uku stretch of the road. The name of the victim was given as Mr. Okoro.
The Ogun State Police Command said it has rescued three persons, who were reportedly kidnapped in Ode Omi, a border town between Lagos and Ogun State. The victims were identified as Abdulasis Sanni, the son of the Chief Imam of Ode Omi and two brothers, Jelili and Bamidele Adams.
Armed men kidnapped the traditional ruler of Eziama Obiato, in Mbaitolu Local Government Area of Imo State, Dennis Nwaba. He was kidnapped from his palace, at about 8.30a.m by four armed men, who came in a Honda Civic car, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Vitalis Onugu, said. He said the two men, who used a bike to pursue the kidnappers, were shot by the armed men.
Kidnappers abducted the wife of the Anglican Bishop of Ikeduru Diocese, Emmanuel Maduwuike.
The victim, Mrs Anuri Maduwuike, was abducted while she was going home from Owerri, the Imo State capital.
A member of Sokoto State House of Assembly, Aminu Bodai, was abducted by gunmen in Bodai village of Dange/Shuni Local Government Area of the state.
The gunmen in the early hours of the day went to the resident of the lawmaker and abducted him
Three people were abducted in Enugu State.
The victims are an Nnewi-based businessman, Ernest Otugo, his wife and his friend. Otugo is the President of the Ibite Olo Community in Ezeagu Local Government Area.
The Otugos and their children were travelling with a family friend, identified only as Reuben, an indigene of Awka, Anambra State, to Enugu from Nnewi for a social event. They were travelling in a Toyota Venza car when they were accosted by the abductors at Amokwe, Udi Local Council along old Enugu-Awka Road.
Seven persons were kidnapped in Kaduna by armed men in military uniforms in the highbrow Malali area of the state.
It was learned that the gunmen in military uniform blocked the access road to the Babatunde Fashola Housing Estate and intercepted a Honda Accord with Reg. No. LND 753 AL and five other vehicles and kidnapped seven persons.
A Permanent Secretary in Enugu State Ministry of Lands, Augustine Ude, was abducted in Awgu axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt Road.
The Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital ,ISTH,Prof. Sylvanus Okogbeni was abducted at Ramat Park, Benin City, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state while returning to Benin.
The Edo Police Command confirmed the killing of two of its officers attached to the CMD during the incident.
About 7 persons, including three final year law students of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, one male and two female as well as four others, were kidnapped on the notorious Kaduna-Abuja highway.
Bandits killed three travellers and kidnapped dozens on Kaduna/Abuja Expressway by Olams Farms.
A younger brother to Jauro, Turaki , a confidant of former Vice President Atiku Abukakar was kidnapped in Njoboliyoin Adamawa State. Umar Hammandikko was taken away by gunmen at Njoboliyo in Yola South Local Government Area of the state.
Two persons, who went to deliver ransom for the release of two children of a Kaduna-based bishop, were abducted by the same gunmen, who had earlier kidnapped the children.
The two persons were abducted by the bandits after collecting the ransom from them. The bandits did not release the children of the bishop.
Armed men suspected to be kidnappers abducted a university lecturer identified as Abubakar Idris in Kaduna State.
The police authorities in the state confirmed the incident in a statement.
More than 50 people, including pregnant women and children, were abducted in a raid on a village in Katsina State.
The attack on Wurma village in Katsina, northwest Nigeria, began around 11:30 pm last Tuesday.