Rampaging terrorists in the Kurgi community in the western part of Birnin-Gwari general area in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, have killed a motorcyclist and abducted scores of travellers along the Birnin-Gwari, Funtua road.
The terrorists were said to have blocked the road where no fewer than 30 vehicles were trapped and passengers’ loads were carted away.
The captive drivers were made to pay between N300,000 to N1,000,000 to the terrorists before their vehicles were released.
The Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union, Ishaq Kasai, disclosed this in a statement released in Kaduna on Sunday.
He said, “On Thursday, September 15, 2022, armed bandits kidnapped three locals at farms in Kurgin Gabas Community in the western part of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“The bandits also enrouted the same Community on Friday, September 16, to steal a motorcycle (Bajaj model), killing the owner (Bala Balansi) instantly before going back to the forest.
“Kurgin Gabas is sharing border with Kamuku Forest Reserve which becomes the hideouts of armed bandits and a common route through which the bandits usually come out from their hideouts to carry out attacks in communities in the western part of Birnin-Gwari and in the neighbouring Rafi LGA of Niger State.
“BEPU acknowledges that the security level at Birnin-Gwari to Kaduna Highway has improved following the earlier visit by GOC of 1 Div Kaduna and subsequent mobilization of troops as well as occasional aerial surveillances along the road by security agencies. The Union also observes that, attacks are being carried out to some hideouts of the bandits particularly around Birnin-Gwari and Chikun adjoining forests.
“However, BEPU is deeply concerned that, Birnin-Gwari/Funtua Highway remains blocked by armed bandits where about 30 vehicles including big trucks are trapped and yet to be retrieved by owners; and many of the travellers that were abducted during the attack on September 1, 2022 are yet to be released.
“Another disturbing scenario is that, the bandits have carted away all the loads/goods contained in the trapped vehicles and people were forced by the armed bandits to pay huge amount of money ranging from N300,000 to N1,000,000 in order to bail and retrieve their trapped vehicles from the road. The charge disparity depends on the size and nature of the vehicles.”
The union appealed for mobilization of troops to ensure opening of Birnin-Gwari-Funtua road and for retrieving the trapped vehicles unconditionally.
“The Union believes that, opening of the road and sustained surveillance will help in addressing the problem of attacks on travellers and in bringing permanent peace as well as enhancing business and other economic activities in Birnin-Gwari LGA,” the statement added.