*As 3 abducted Kaduna lecturers regain freedom
By John Shiklam in Kaduna
After a long period sanity in the Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna State, armed bandits struck again on Monday evening, killing one person and injuring three others.
In another development, the three lecturers of the Shehu Idris College of Health Science and Technology, Makarfi, also in Kaduna State, who were kidnapped on Monday, regained their freedom Tuesday night.
The renewed attack in the Birnin Gwari area, according Ibrahim Abubakar Nagwari, Chairman, Birnin-Gwari Vanguards for Security and Good Governance, occurred along the Birnin-Gwari-Funtua road, connecting Kaduna and Katsina States.
Nagwari, in a statement on Wednesday, said a young man whose name was given as Abdulkarim Bagoma was killed on the spot while the whereabouts of one Ibrahim Mai alignment, was unknown.
He said three other people sustained serious injuries from gun shots during the attack and were rushed to the hospital. Nagwari said the bandits running away from military onslaught in Zamfara State, were relocating to the Birnin Gwari axis to unleash terror on the people.
He said the fate of a journalist, his wife and two siblings who were abducted for over nine days was unknown as communication lines had been cut off. He however did not name the journalist. He lamented that armed bandits had declared total war on the good citizens of Birnin-Gwari and commuters along the two major highways of Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna and Birnin-Gwari-Funtua. “There is no doubt that the armed bandits had resumed their nefarious act of inflicting irreparable loss of lives, injecting fear, grip and sorrow on the people of Birnin-Gwari local government area as a whole and neighboring communities of Niger State,” he said. According to him, “only yesterday, one kidnapped victim was released after payment of ransom, while the fate of a kidnapped journalist, his wife and two siblings for over nine days is dicey and traumatic as the kidnappers have cut lines of communication.”
Nagwari said: “We have for long cautioned the security agencies on the need for a pragmatic approach and strategy in their operations of uprooting all armed bandits in Zamfara state to Birnin-Gwari general area. “Although a significant success were made by the military, police and other security personnel to clampdown on these terrorists, their escape routes along Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna as well as Birnin-Gwari-Funtua road remain porous and all kidnappers’ camps are active.
“We are appealing to the federal government and security agencies hierarchy to change their strategy in their fight with the armed bandits in our territory.
“Our able, braved men and volunteers are ready to assist security agencies to confront armed bandits in our areas because they know the terrain”.
Spokesman of the Kaduna State police command, Yakubu Sabo, could not be reached to confirm the incident as his mobile phone was switched off. Meanwhile the three staff of the Shehu Idris College of Health Science and Technology, Makarfi, who were kidnapped have been freed. The victims include the director of the institution’s dental school, Dr. Adamu Akawo, and others whose names were given as Rabi Dogo and Halimatu Malam.
They were said to have been freed by their captors on Tuesday around 8 p.m.
Yusuf Yakubu, sole administrator of the college confirmed their release in a text message. “Please be informed that the three kidnapped staff of Shehu Idris College of Health Science and Technology Makarfi were released this night at about 8pm.
“I the administrator of the college negotiated with the kidnappers and they released them to me” the text message read.
Yakubu did not however say whether ransom was paid before their release. The staff who were in Zaria for an official function, were abducted Monday at gunpoint on their way back to Makarfi.