President Muhammadu Buhari talked tough on Thursday. He directed security agencies to deal decisively with kidnappers and bandits.
“You should spare no effort in breaking the backbone of these savage mass killers and don’t hesitate to attack them with merciless intensity until they are crushed and ultimately defeated,” the President ordered.
Buhari is worried stiff by the resurgence of kidnapping and banditry in the country.
Yesterday, eight people, including a nursing mother and her one-month old were abducted in Kaduna.
The President of Resident Doctors at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Dr. Jerry Isogun was kidnapped on the highway in Delta State.
The President urged security agencies and communities under threats of bandits’ attacks and kidnapping to be more vigilant and alert in the light of the latest incidents in Enugu, Zamfara, Adamawa, Katsina and Kaduna states.
Reacting to the reports of heightened acts of violence and kidnapping, the President in a statement by his spokesman Garba Shehu, said: “in view of the unpredictability of the security situation, our security forces and the communities affected should be ever more alert because these murderous and remorseless criminals would take advantage of your complacency and strike again.”
The President said: “The bandits should under no circumstances be allowed to hold the country to ransom on account of security loopholes, which they seek to exploit to strike at their victims.
“The criminals always look for loopholes in our security system to remain in business and active, but we shouldn’t give them the space to achieve this diabolical objective by pre-empting them.”
On the need to be on the alert, Buhari warned that “complacency is a hidden or unnoticed enemy that we shouldn’t take for granted, because doing so could weaken our strategies.”
He noted that the affected communities have a responsibility to help the security agencies with the critically important human intelligence to stop the bandits in their tracks.
The President warned: “The bandits maintain networks of informants among the communities they attack”, adding that “by identifying and reporting these informants to the authorities, it would be by far easier to foil the bandits before they reach their intended targets.”
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Commending the security agencies for their dedication and sacrifices, President Buhari directed them to “redouble their efforts and make life uncomfortable for the bandits.”
In Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, some gunmen, suspected to be kidnappers, went away with Dr. Isogun.
It was gathered that Isogun was kidnapped on the Oghara/Mossogar section of the Benin/Sapele Highway.
The victim, according to a source, was ambushed and whisked away to an unknown destination.
A source, who pleaded anonymity, said the doctor was taken away in his car by the gunmen.
He was returning to Sapele where he lives with his family.
Kidnappers have been terrorising the the Oghara/Mossogar and Sapele area in the past few months.
A nursing mother, her baby and six other persons were abducted at Hayin Danmani Community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The Kaduna State Police Command was yet to confirm the incident as the time of filing this report.
But, The Nation gathered that the incident took place on Tuesday and Wednesday when the kidnap suspects raided the community.
A source in the area told our reporter that, “they (kidnap suspects) came again yesterday (Wednesday). We heard gunshots over night, but I’m not sure they were able to kidnap any other person”.
It was also learnt that the abductors contacted the family of the one of the victims and demanded N10million ransom.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a resident said that when the gunmen invaded the community, they shot sporadically and went from house -to-house to pick their victims.
One of the community leaders, who does not want his name his name mentioned said fear had gripped the entire community following the abduction.
According to him, members of the community are now confused and living in fears.
He said while the kidnappers picked the nursing mother and her one month-old baby, the husband managed to escape, adding that the kidnappers made away with six other people, who were mostly peasants.
Thecommunity leader said: “The incident actually took place on Tuesday night but the community discovered about the abduction on Wednesday.
“We learnt that they made away with a nursing mother with her one month old baby.
“You know that Mahuta, Mando, Rigasa, Danmani Communities share common boundaries with Dogon Daji which lead to Birnin Gwari where military operation is ongoing. It is possible that the military operation is becoming unbearable for the bandits. So, they are being pushed into the communities mentioned.
We are therefore appealing to the goverment and the security agencies to come to our aid, because this people want to chase us away from our homes.”