Laleye Dipo in Minna
It has been confirmed that two people have been killed and 15 others abducted as kidnappers go on rampage in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.
Reports just reaching Minna, the state capital, said the two people killed were attempting to escape from the kidnappers resulting in the killings.
Five of those kidnapped, according to the report, were from Gwada town in the Shiroro Local Government Area and were said to be returning from Kaduna State while the remaining 10 were from Sarkin Paws in Munya Local Government Area.
According to the report, the incident occurred at Mangwaro, a border community between Niger and Kaduna States, on Christmas day evening.
The situation had created panic among the villagers in the local government area as they were said to be looking for every available means of protecting themselves against the kidnappers.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Danjuma Sallau, who just returned from the area, confirmed the story when briefing a group of journalists in Minna yesterday evening.
Sallau, however, said normalcy had been restored to the troubled area. The commissioner said a combined team of security agents made up of the army, police, Civil Defence Corps, and local vigilante had been drafted to the area to restore peace.
Sallau, however, said no contact had been made with the kidnappers, adding that they had also not given any condition for the release of those kidnapped.
He said he would meet with the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dibal Yakadi, on the issue today on the best way to facilitate the release of those abducted.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Muhammad Abubakar, when contacted, confirmed the incident and the deployment of officers and men of the command to the affected area.
The Munya Local Government Area had been under siege of kidnappers and herdsmen early in the year until the Senator representing Niger East senatorial district, David Umaru, prevailed on the Chief of Army Staff to station soldiers in the area.
The soldiers were said to have been withdrawn about four months ago after normalcy was reported to have returned to the area.
Yesterday, the National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammadu Kiriwa, was in Minna during which he inaugurated a special security outfit to tackle cattle rustling, kidnapping of herdsmen and armed robbery in some parts of the state.