Disquiet as terror attacks on Abuja, M-Belt towns continue

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Across many states of the country, terrorists and bandits, Tuesday night and early yesterday, continued to unleash a reign of terror, killing and kidnapping citizens.

Abuja, Niger, Nasarawa and Plateau were among the states attacked by the marauders.

Following the constant wave of terror attacks on Garam, a community in Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State, which shares a boundary with the nation’s capital, Abuja, displaced residents of the area have fled their homes, seeking refuge in urban centres of the Federal Capital Territory FCT.

Garam, which shares a boundary with Kuduru, another troubled community in Bwari Area Council of the FCT, has been under severe attacks from bandits since December 24, 2023.

‘Attacks resumed yesterday’

The raging attacks which resurged yesterday, also spread to the Zuma community in Bwari Area Council.

On December 24, bandits invaded the Garam community, which is five minutes drive from Bwari in the FCT, killing a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and kidnapping 13 other persons.

On December 28, bandits again invaded Kuduru in the FCT, kidnapping 18 persons.

Similarly, on Friday, December 29, bandits invaded Azu in Niger State, killing three people and kidnapping eight others.

However, following the ceaseless attacks, residents of Garam decided against observing the crossover service on December 31, 2023.

A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity said most churches in the area observed the crossover service between 5pm and 8pm, while a handful of churches with adequate security observed the crossover service between 10 pm and 4am.

The source added that the bandits returned on January 2, 2024, kidnapping an entire family, adding that the soldiers stationed at Azu, a neighbouring community, only arrived after the bandits had left.

He said: “Due to the fear of bandits, most churches did not observe crossover service on December 31. Some churches observed the service between 5 pm and 8 pm. It was only MFM that observed the service from 11 pm to 4 a.m.

“Though soldiers patrolled the community during the day, it has not stopped bandits from attacking the people at night.

“On January 2, an Igala man was attacked, and the bandits kidnapped the whole family. They came with their tools to force the gate of the house open. They operated for two to three hours. The sound of their guns forced the vigilance team to flee. The soldiers arrived after they had left.”

Another resident said people were moving out of Garam in droves, while those who built houses there have sought refuge in other places.

He said the sprawling community was now being deserted as the military appeared to have ran out of ideas to tame the bandits.

The source added that it appeared the bandits were targeting those with cars who could easily muster ransom payments, if kidnapped.

It was gathered that the bandits again entered Garam on Monday night and operated till the early hours of Tuesday and reportedly abducted three persons.

“The man who most residents described as NEPA staff (Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Staff) was unlucky as bandits broke into his house, forcibly kidnapped him, his wife and nephew and escaped with them on motorcycles into the bush,” a source said.

2 security men killed in attack on Zuma

Yesterday’s attack on Zuma reportedly led to the shooting of two security personnel who were said to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital, while a yet-to-be-ascertained number of persons were abducted.

The attack would be the fifth in the series since the onslaught began on Christmas Eve, with residents putting the estimates of kidnapped people at over 55.

Although three persons were killed in the series, a fourth was reported to have died based on the traumatic experience of losing her husband to the kidnappers.

“The fourth person who died was the wife of the Redeemed Christian Church of God pastor who was earlier killed in the presence of his family.

“She was recovering when the bandits called her line to place a ransom on her two kidnapped children who are currently in the bandits’ camp.

Having heard the demands, the woman who could not bear the grief of the loss of her husband and the agony of her two tender children between the ages of seven and nine, slumped, reportedly went into a coma and later gave up the ghost on Tuesday,” said a community source.

Similarly, no fewer than four persons were on Tuesday night, killed by gunmen who raided a shopping mall in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The gunmen were said to have stormed the shopping mall located in One Man Village in Karu at about 8.45 pm and opened fire on customers, killing three men and a lady.

Incidents of gun attacks, residents said, were becoming a source of concern as residents no longer find peace in the state.

One of the residents, Adamu Jacob, who spoke to Vanguard at the scene of the incident, recalled the abduction of the chairman of Akwanga LGA and three others last Monday in Andaha; the abduction of a lecturer in Kokona and some students at both the Federal University of Lafia, and Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

They called on the state government to step up the security apparatus in the state to secure lives and property in Nasarawa.

Confirming the raid, the Public Relations Officer of the Nasarawa State Police Command, DSP Ranham Nansel, said the hoodlums invaded the shopping mall at 8.45 pm, shot and killed four persons.

The PPRO said: “I wish to confirm that on January 2, 2024, some hoodlums, numbering four, attacked Wisdom supermarket at Adehi, Karu local government shooting sporadically.

“The armed men opened fire on customers and four persons were recovered and taken to the hospital where they were confirmed dead by doctors.

“Their corpses have been deposited at Maraba Medical Centre. The commissioner of police has directed the deputy commissioner of police, state criminal investigative department in Lafia to move to the scene and carry out a comprehensive investigation into the case. The outcome of the investigation will be made known.’’

Chief Imam, Okada rider killed in fresh Plateau attack

In Plateau, the Chief Imam of Jumma’at Mosque, Ndun village, Tangur District of Bokkos Local Government Area, Malam Muhammad Sani Idris, and a commercial motorbike (Okada) rider, Muhammad Gambo, were also killed by bandits

The Chairman of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, GAFDAN, Garba Abdullahi, who confirmed the incident, said, a younger brother of the slain Imam, Salisu Muhammad Sani Idris, was injured during the attack and was currently receiving treatment at Dung Hospital in Bokkos town.

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