April 25th, 2024

At least 100 villagers are kidnapped in the latest mass abduction in northern Nigeria

By Chinedu Asadu, The Associated Press on March 18, 2024.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) – Armed gangs attacked two villages in Nigeria’s northwest over the weekend and seized at least 100 people from their homes, residents and a state official told The Associated Press on Monday, in the latest mass abduction in the region.

The gunmen attacked communities in Kaduna state’s Kajuru council area on Saturday and Sunday, said Usman Dallami Stingo, who represents Kajuru in the state legislature.

Kaduna state is where nearly 300 schoolchildren were abducted less than two weeks ago. The latest kidnappings, like the previous one, have been blamed on bandit groups known for mass killings and kidnappings in Nigeria’s northwestern and central regions. Most of the bandits were previously herders in conflict with local communities.

The kidnappers attacked the Dogon Noma community early Saturday and abducted 14 women, then attacked the Kajuru-Station community on Sunday night and seized 87 people, Stingo said.

“There is no presence of security nearby,” he said, echoing concerns about the absence of security forces in remote villages across the region where arrests are rare.

At least eight of those abducted in the latest attacks were relatives of Madaki Tanko Aridu in Dogon Noma, who lamented the lack of response of security agencies.

“Up till now, no force man has reported there,” he said.

Security forces, meanwhile, are yet to provide any public update on the rescue operation for the schoolchildren abducted earlier this month in Kaduna’s Kuriga town. The children are thought to be held hostage in the vast forests that connect most states in the troubled region.

President Bola Tinubu, elected to lead the country of more than 210 million people last year, has ruled out the payment of ransoms – as is often done – in the operation to free the children.

Tinubu’s government did not immediately comment on the latest attacks.

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