Scores of villagers have been reportedly abducted in Rafin Daji, a farming community in Gurbe Ward, Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The community shares boundary with Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State.
A relative of some of the kidnapped victims, Engr. Ibrahim A. Barde said 13 members of his family were among those abducted from their farms on Wednesday.
He said, “It was two days ago. My immediate younger brothers and their families were on the farm. They had finished for the day and were about to leave when the kidnappers met them.
“They came to the farm with a pickup car. So, by the time the driver got into the car, the kidnappers approached him and threatened him with a gun, forcing him to stop the car.
“They were 13 of them on the farm including seven children between the ages of 15 and 17, three women; one just got married last year and an aged woman, my brothers and the tractor driver.
“They also went to the neighbouring farm too and abducted some. So, the total number, and also from my own immediate family is about 21 – 22. I don’t have detailed information on the number of those they kidnapped from the other family, but mine is 13. They even burnt the tractor been used on the farm.”
He stated how frustrating and helpless his family had been since the incident happened, noting that they tried the numbers of captors who had contacted other families in the past, but none was reachable.
“We have been so helpless, but towards the evening yesterday, we were contacted by the kidnappers, and by the way they spoke, we knew they were herdsmen.
“They were asking us, how many of our families were abducted. We didn’t tell them because we suspected they trying to fish out a particular family. But they have not stated their demands yet.”
He gave the names of some of the victims as Ismaila A. Barde, Mustapha A. Barde, Nasiru A. Barde, Abdulkarim A. Barde, Sanusi A. Barde, Usman, Usman D. Barde, Nura D. Barde, Abdullahi T. Barde, Babawo T. Barde, Farida Ayuba, Hauwa Ayuba and Husai Abdullahi.
Barde called on the government to rally to their assistance and rescue the Kidnapped farmers.
When contacted, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command spokesperson, Oduniyi Omotayo, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The incident happened in Rafin daji, a boundary community between Niger and the FCT. The farmers were on their farmland working when gun men outnumbered and kidnapped them.
“Upon receipt of this information, a combined team of Police officers from various Tactical and intelligence units of the Command, Destiny Hunters, Vigilantes, and Local hunters stormed the forest, combing it aggressively even as I speak for the rescue of the victims and to bring perpetrators to book. Monitoring and surveillance of the community also continue.”