Six days after 65 Adara natives were abducted from Libere Gida, Kallah Ward in Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA) in Southern part of Kaduna State, their abductors have made contact with the community, claiming that they have 77 persons in their detention and demanded the sum of N350 million as ransom for their release, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) disclosed on Saturday.
The disclosure came on Saturday as angry youths from Goni Gora community blocked the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway protesting the abduction of four of its members.
SOKAPU had earlier reported that 10 of the 65 abducted villagers were able to escape a day after they were kidnapped, stressing that going by the latest village headcount, 72 persons were being held by the kidnappers.
They are made up of 16 males and 56 females. It will therefore mean that the kidnappers have captured some other persons to make up for the 77 captives they are claiming.
SOKAPU lamented that “surprisingly, the Kaduna State Government which has made it a habit to churn out daily updates on the security situation in Kaduna State has not made any mention of this mass abduction which occurred in Libere Gida around 11:30pm of the 22nd April, 2021.
“Libere is close to the three major IDP camps in Kajuru LGA. They are in Kallah town, Geffe and Rimau where no fewer than 5,000 have been staying under subhuman conditions since they were chased out from their various villages in May 2020 by armed men.
“Kaduna State Government has never visited or mentioned their existence, not to talk of assisting them with any relief material.”
SOKAPU in its position made known by its spokesman, Mr Luka Binniyat, further averred that “after unceasing siege on farming communities in Kajuru LGA, more communities have fallen under the control of these armed men, which we now suspect to be a coalition of armed herdsmen and Boko Haram.
“In the past one week, communities of Libere village in Kallah ward, Kujeni and part of Kutura in Tantatu ward, including Kurmin Wali in Afogo ward, have fled. This is in addition to the 26 other Adara communities of Kajuru that have fallen to the armed invaders, some of them dating back to 2019.
“The communities include Kallah, Kihoro-Libere, Bakin Kogi, Umiko, Magunguna, Idazo, Ungwan, Galadima, Ungwan Guza, Etiss, Ungwan Ma’aji, Ungwan Dantata, Ungwan Araha 1 & 2, Ungwan Goshi, Ungwan Shaban, Ungwan Jibo, Ungwan Maijama’a, Ungwan Sako, Ungwan Maidoki and Ungwan Masaba
“Others include Tantatu Ward, Ungwan Makware, Idon WardE, Edanu Ungwan Mudi, Ungwan Rana, Ifele and Ungwan Gora. The total number of communities captured by the armed invaders in Kajuru LGA is now 31.
“Not less than 100 communities of Southern Kaduna are already in the hands of the invaders. Some of the communities in Chikun LGA are contigual to Shiroro LGA of Niger State, where Boko Haram hoisted its flag last week.”
Angry youths block Abuja-Kaduna Expressway
Worried by the persistent abduction of innocent citizens for ransom in Kaduna State, a large number of angry youths on Saturday blocked the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway protesting the abduction of four people from settlements around Goni Gora village.
The protest, which commenced as early as 7am, lasted for hours as the youths used all manners of objects to block the road, causing a gridlock that forced many passengers to alight from their vehicles to board motorcycles out of the blocked area in order to continue their journeys to Kaduna town and beyond.
Succour however came for the motorists and passengers when the Commanding Officer of the 312 Artillery Regiment, Kalapanzin Barracks, Kaduna, Lt-Col. M.H Abdullahi, came to address the youths and persuaded them to open the road for commuters to continue their journeys.
He promised to take them to the Garrison Commander 1 Mechanised Division for a discussion on the way forward.
Abdullahi informed the protesting youths about the arrest of two of the suspected kidnappers who he said were in their custody, adding that two of the four people kidnapped had already been rescued.
A delegation of the youth and the Goni Gora village head, Hon. John Doma, accompanied Abdullahi to the Garrison Commander who further reassured the youths that the security agencies were not resting on their oars in the effort to find a lasting solution to the incessant kidnapping incidents in the state and the country at large.
The Youths appealed to the Garrison Commander and the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who was also at the Garison headquarters to help establish a permanent security outpost at various points in and around the Goni Gora villages, to help address all forms of banditry in the area.
Sack of 30,000 cause of rising insecurity in state – Labour
Organised Labour on Saturday linked the security challenges in Kaduna State to the sack of workers by the state government.
Labour noted that the Governor El -Rufai led administration has sacked 30,000 workers since it came into power in 2015.
General Secretary, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Sikiru Waheed, said this during the Workers’ Day celebration in Abuja.
AUPCTRE, an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, said it would support the decision of the Congress on the fate of workers in Kaduna.
The National Executive Council of the NLC threatened to shut down Kaduna State and economic activities following the decision of the government to sack 5,000 workers.
He said: “AUPCTRE is using this May Day 2021 occasion to reassure workers and its leadership as ably represented by Comrade Ayuba Wabba that we wholeheartedly support all Central Administrative Council, Central Working Committee, and NEC decisions of the NLC on burning and unpalatable industrial dispute created by His Excellency Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on the retrenchment of 5,000 workers last month, totalling about 30,000 workforce since 2015 to date.
“This has no doubt contributed to the case of insecurity in Kaduna State and its neighbouring states of Niger, FCT and Kogi.”
The union commended workers in the country for their resilience despite the challenge posed by COVID-19 pandemic.