By John Shiklam
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have abducted 21 people in Udawa village, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Seventeen of those abducted, including four others, who sustained serious injuries from gunshots, were said to be members of the same family.
The injured persons were said to have been taken to the hospital in Kaduna.
Speaking in a telephone interview on Sunday, Liman Hussaini, a community leader in the village, said the abductions occurred on Friday and Saturday when the villagers were going to their farms.
Hussaini said four people were abducted on Friday, while 17 persons, all members of the same family, were abducted on Saturday on their way to the farm at about 7am.
He said about one and a half kilometres from the village, the bandits swooped on the family of 21 injuring four and abducting 17.
Hussaini said by the time security personnel stationed in the village rushed to the scene of the incident, the bandits had escaped with their victims into the bushes.
According to him, “Yesterday (Saturday), a family of 21 were going to the farm, but about one and a half kilometres away from home, they were attacked by gunmen.
“Four of them sustained serious injuries from gunshots, while 17 of them were abducted.
“Also on Friday, at about 7am, four people were abducted while on their way to the farm.
“You know there is serious hunger, people are finding it very difficult to feed, but now that the maize is done, many families depend on it to feed.
“We have started harvesting maize which we use for feeding because there is no food.
“The head of this family of 21 was riding on a bike with one of his sons and two daughters to the farm as the bandits opened fire at them after abducting 17 members of the family.
“The man was shot in the leg, the son was shot in the mouth. One of the daughters was shot in the chest, the other daughter was shot in the hand. The four of them were taken to the hospital in Kaduna.
“There are soldiers and policemen that are stationed in Udawa, but by the time they got to the scene of the incident, the bandits had escaped to the bushes with their victims.
“This is what has been happening in our community. Going to the farm is a serious risk. On the other hand, if you don’t go to the farm, hunger will kill you and your family. So we are faced with two dangerous options.”
The spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, could not be reached for reaction on the incident as his mobile phone was switched off.