Armed ViolenceNews

Suspected Kidnappers Attack Abuja Community, Injure 4 Persons

A group of suspected kidnappers attacked a community in Abuja, the federal capital territory of Nigeria, injuring citizens in the process.

At least four persons sustained various gunshot wounds following an attack on them by suspected kidnappers along Kuje, Pegi road in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The incident happened Friday evening when the victims were returning from work, heading for Pegi community, Isaac Aderibigbe, Chairman Pegi Community Development Association, (PECDA) said.

Since 2018, kidnappers have targeted residents of Pegi community for abduction. In Oct. 2019, nine officers of the Nigerian Security Defence Corps (NSCDC) were kidnapped along with five other people, including a 12-year-old boy on the same road. Their abductors demanded N5 million ransom before they could be released.

According to Aderibigbe, those shot included  Edwin Obiekwe, Shittu Adebayo, and one Mr kola.

HumAngle was told that Shittu was returning from work at about 9 pm when the gunmen shot at his car’s tyre.

While he left his car and ran for safety towards the community’s main entrance, his assailants were still on his trail shooting but turned back as he made it into the community.

Shittu, it was learnt, removed his white cloth and switched off his mobile phone because the kidnappers used the clothes and the light on his phone to trace him.

He said one of his friends who also ran into the kidnappers on the road said a bullet hit a lady that was sitting in front of his car on her upper shoulder.

He has moved out of his house in Pegi community, noting that he was shaky and scared.

Another victim, identified as Kola said he was shot while running for his life by the armed men.

He disclosed that he was returning from work when a car overtook his car suddenly and stopped a few meters ahead of him.

Kola said he was contemplating what to do when he saw a young man coming towards him with a gun.

He reversed his car and started going back, but the gunmen opened fire at his vehicle, adding that bullets also hit him and three other passengers in his car.

Mariam Yusuf, the FCT Police Command Public Relations Officer, was not immediately available for comments on the incident when contacted by HumAngle.  Calls and messages sent to her mobile phone went unanswered.

HumAngle reports that Police in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Sunday announced the arrest of six suspected kidnappers who are believed to be members of a kidnapping syndicate terrorising the city.

Abuja, the country’s administrative seat, is fast sliding into criminals’ hands following incessant abductions of residents.

Nodim Okechukwu, a journalist with The Punch Newspaper and three other persons, was abducted in the FCT Abuja suburb on Feb. 3. HumAngle gathered that the journalist regained his freedom on Sunday.

The police spokesperson said the suspected kidnappers’ arrest followed an intelligence report about three persons they abducted recently. She did not state if the Punch journalist was among those rescued.

Pegi, a community, pegged down by insecurity

Pegi, a community straddled along Kuje, 40 kilometres away from Abuja city centre, is one of the six resettlements created in 2006 by Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to mark 30 years of the creation of Abuja.

With an estimated 16,000 residents, the community has a deficiency in infrastructural development as a poor road network has continually left residents at the mercy of shooters ambushing them on the roads.

Between 2018 and 2020, there were more than three kidnapping cases with deaths recorded in the area.

On Oct. 9, 2019, the residents protested against the increasing spate of the kidnapping incidents, but not much has been done to salvage the security threats

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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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