Bandits Kill 75-year-old Cattle Breeder, Abduct Three Grandchildren for Ransom in Bauchi
Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
A 75-year-old Cattle Breeder in Shaffa Village of Duguri District in Alkaleri LGA, Bauchi State, Mr. Katu Mai Dukkuna, has been killed by bandits suspected to be kidnappers who invaded his house in the settlement.
This is as the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has cried out that the activities of bandits and kidnappers in the state in recent times had been giving him sleepless nights.
Late Dukkuna, a prominent kinsman of the governor of Bauchi State, was killed when the kidnappers stormed with the intention of kidnapping him for ransom but he resisted the attempt.
A resident of the area, Mr. Sunusi, told journalists that the gunmen had earlier visited his farm but when they could not find him went to the house where they tried to kidnap him but ended up killing him and went away with three of his grandchildren – two females and a male.
Sanusi added that the kidnappers also took away some of his cows leaving the family in a mourning mood, a development that has now thrown the entire village into a panicking situation.
Another villager, Mr. Sani Umar, said that for about a week now, the gunmen have been storming the village looking for who to kidnap considering the fact that most of the people are cattle breeders and farmers thinking that they have money.
Umar, however, said that as of the last time the kidnappers made contact, they were demanding for the sum of N50 million for the three abducted grandchildren, saying that the amount is on the high side but assured that negotiations are ongoing in order to secure their release.
The villagers called on the state government to come to their aid as the activities of the bandits have negatively affected their existence because they could no longer go to the farm in the raining season.
Younger brother to the late Katu described the incident as a surprise to the family because his late elder brother was a peaceful man who has contributed to the development of the village.
He called on the state government and security agencies to team up and rescue the children that have spent about five days in captivity and might be in danger due to the raining season.
This is coming few weeks after several people were killed and some abducted in Toro, Alkaleri, Tafawa Balewa and several other communities across the state, prompting the state governor to embark on assessment visits to the affected communities to commiserate and assure them of his administration’s commitment to end banditry.
While speaking in Duguri, his country home on a similar visit, the governor who was visibly disturbed said that “I have the singular honour to commiserate with the people of Duguri, my home town over the death of some people and the abduction of so many sons and daughters of this area.”
The governor added that “a lot of criminality is happening here, maybe because we are far from the centre. A lot of atrocities are happening here because the economic activities here are much. We have the best of lush vegetable soil, agricultural soil where our people have been farming for so many years.
“We have so many minerals here. That is why we are having problems. We are trying our best. The local government is trying its best and the state government is also trying its best. The federal government is also doing its best.”
According to the governor, “our policy of community engagement has taken us everywhere in the state where this ugly incident has happened. We went to Toro, we went to Gwana, Mansur and then Tafawa Belewa to engage with the people.”
He further noted that “as the security agencies would always say, this cannot happen without collaboration with some obnoxious elements within us, including some members of our traditional institution, even some security personnel, therefore we have already requested the two traditional district heads to be circumspect to look inward, because we are looking inward because we too we are looking so that we can arrests this issue of compromise and information giving to the bandits.”
He frowned that “there is no way somebody from Zamfara or somewhere will visit that secluded place like Shaffa and kill someone unless he has an informant. The security agencies cannot do it alone. And that is why we are establishing a system of feedback.”