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Police deploy tactical units, comb forests, shanties

Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have continued to comb bushes and shanties in border areas between the FCT, Niger, Kaduna, and Nasarawa States, in a bid to rescue the remaining 23 victims that were abducted by bandits in the Bwari area of Abuja on January 3.

Our correspondent gathered that the FCT Commissioner of Police, Haruna Garba, has deployed tactical teams to rescue the abductees and arrest the bandits.

An impeccable security source who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity revealed that while there’s been an outburst over the killing of one of the abductees, those kidnapped during the attacks were about 23.

He added that contrary to social media reports, the attack was carried out on one family, while noting that the family of Mansoor Al-Kadriyar whose daughter was killed on Friday, isolated themselves, and are negotiating with the bandits on their terms.

The source revealed, “Police operatives from various tactical units have been combing the bushes and shanties in Bwari and other border areas between the FCT and Niger, Kaduna, and Nasarawa states to rescue the victims and apprehend the bandits. Since the incident happened, the CP had deployed operatives on a rescue mission, but the police had been careful not to jeopardise our efforts by revealing details because the bandits are everywhere – they’re on social media, and they read the news.

“Contrary to what is being said on social, it wasn’t only that family that was kidnapped. About 23 persons were kidnapped during the attack while two police officers were shot and a civilian was killed, as reported in the news last week. However, the issue of this family became severe because they isolated themselves and were negotiating with the bandits, and took everything to social media. Maybe that action emboldened the bandits to demand more and also killed some of the victims. Nabeeha wasn’t the only one that was killed, three other persons were also killed by the bandits, unfortunately.”

Sherifdeen Al-Kadriyar, an uncle to one of the murder victims, Nabeeha Al-Kadriyarof whose killing went viral on social media, on Sunday revealed that the kidnappers have threatened to kill the deceased’s siblings and cousin who are still in their captivity if a ransom of ₦100million is not paid by Wednesday.

This is as Nigerians have taken to the X platform (formerly Twitter) to raise ransom for the release of the abducted girls. However, the total amount raised could not be verified by our correspondent on Sunday.

The former presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, on Sunday, also condemned Nabeeh’s murder and the abduction of her relatives.

Atiku noted, “I am saddened by reports of the brutal murder of Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, who was abducted with her siblings and has been in the custody of their abductors for almost two weeks.

“This is yet another reminder that kidnappers and bandits are operating unhindered in our country. The security architecture needs to be rejigged to the extent that it stems from the free rein of criminal elements and guarantees the safety of lives and property. The security agencies should step up action to rescue the rest who are still in the custody of the kidnappers.”

Obi said, The trauma being experienced by this family and the blood of this innocent child should prick our conscience as leaders, whose duty it is to protect the life of every Nigerian citizen.

“The fact that these kidnappings, killings and other reported cases of armed robbery and violent attacks, are now taking place in Abuja, the nation’s capital, is a clear pointer to how insecure the rest of the country now is.”

Meanwhile, former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has revealed that his friend has offered to pay the remaining ₦50million to balance the ₦100m ransom demanded by bandits to release sisters of slain Nabeeha.

Reacting to the ugly incident in a post on his verified X handle on Sunday, Pantami said, “Alhamdu lil Laah! I am personally not in support of paying ransom to criminals. However, since it became clear, that we lost our daughter Nabeeha yesterday, and the 5 remaining daughters have been threatened, as I spoke with the father on the matter yesterday and today.

“Furthermore, I spoke with a friend and a brother who offered to pay the remaining 50 million Naira of the 60m immediately. I conveyed the account number of the father of our daughters, Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, to the friend and brother to send the money directly. Any additional amount earlier generated from yesterday, the father can use to treat the daughters and other family members in sha Allah.

“May the Almighty Allah reward the bother and friend with Jannatul Firdaus for the donation. May He also reward all those who contributed in any way with Jannatul Firdaus, too. May He also forgive Nabeeha and rescue her sisters. May the Almighty also help our security agencies to bring an end to these challenges. May Nigeria be a better place for all of us.”

When contacted over the development, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh revealed that the police was on top of the matter, while noting that details could not be revealed for security reasons.

“We’re on top of the matter. But we can’t reveal details for security reasons.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has vowed to rescue four sisters and their cousins who were kidnapped in their family home in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory on Wednesday, January 3, 2024.

There’s been a rise in bandit attacks in the nation’s capital city since Minister Nyesom Wike assumed office. Several villages and hamlets, especially in Abuja suburbs, have been ransacked by gunmen, resulting in the abductions and killings of many persons.

The PUNCH had on Friday, January 5, reported how two policemen sustained bullet injuries, while seven family members were abducted, with one killed during an attack by bandits in Bwari, Abuja.

The earlier abducted persons were Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, his five children and the daughter of his late brother who was killed during the attack.

While Al-Kadriyar was later released with an order to provide ₦60million as ransom for the abducted girls, one of his daughters, Nabeeha was killed and buried on Friday, while the abductors raised the ransom to ₦100m for the remaining five girls.

Reacting to the development on Sunday, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the police had initiated a comprehensive plan of action to rescue the abducted girls and arrest the bandits.

Adjobi noted, “In the wake of the abduction of six young girls in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, it is vital to state that the Police Force has already initiated a comprehensive plan of action. The Force Headquarters is diligently coordinating efforts to address this and prevent any further occurrence, as all hands are on deck to rescue the victims.

“However, the sensitivity of the situation necessitates discretion, and as a result, specific details are being kept confidential to avoid compromising ongoing operations. The NPF is actively engaging and contacting individuals crucial to the rescue operations and investigation. The objective is not only to bring perpetrators to justice but also to intensify efforts in rescue operations for victims still in captivity.

“Furthermore, recognising the psychological impact on affected families, the Police are encouraging open communication with their operatives to provide support, information, and assistance to mitigate the psychological warfare imposed by kidnappers on the relatives and loved ones of their victims.”

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