By Faith Nyasuguta
In the most recent wave of mass abductions in Nigeria, bandits have ambushed a village in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna state and abducted 18 people among them, seven children.
This was revealed by a Kaduna area community leader. The series of abductions in Northern Nigeria have disrupted every aspect of life in the region.
Since December last year, cliques of ransom seekers have been kidnapping students from learning institutions. Some have abducted people from their homes and passengers from vehicles across Northwest Nigeria.
Community leader Mallam Suleiman Keke who mans a village outside the Kaduna area said that some gunmen on motorbikes arrived late Monday night and moved from home to home capturing children and their parents.
“It was a terrifying experience for us,” he said, confirming that the kidnappers are yet to send a ransom demand.
Kaduna is among a number of Nigerian states that have put up measures to counter the ambushes including a prohibition on the sale of fuel in jerry cans and the ferrying of firewood in trucks to prevent armed gangs who move around in motorbikes before camping in remote areas.
Separately, in the state of Zamfara which lies further to the north, leaders have declared a telecommunication blackout even as the military hunts down the attackers.
Since December, masses of children have dropped out of school over fears of abductions whereas some boarding schools have been turned into day schools.
At the same time, Northern Nigeria faces a looming famine as farmers no longer reach their farms located in the remote areas where the gangs are most prominent. Food is becoming scarce.
Families are also apart since people are afraid of traveling to visit their relatives. The bandits have been kidnapping people in vehicles on the roads.