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Ekeomah Atuonwu

Bandits kidnapped wedding guests who were traveling along the Sokoto-Zamfara road in Northern Nigeria.  

They were driving back to Gusau, the Zamfara state capital, after attending a wedding of a colleague in Sokoto State when the accident occurred at 6 p.m. on Saturday on the Tureta-Bakura route.

A Toyota coaster bus from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a Gusau Local Government Secretariat employee vehicle, and two other private vehicles transported the wedding guests.

Ashiru Zurmi, the Secretary of the Zamfara State Union of Communication, told journalists in Gusau on Sunday that one of the vehicles transporting the guests suffered a defect near Tureta, Sokoto state, which was remedied by an automotive mechanic after around 40 minutes.

A group photo of some of the kidnapped victims at the wedding /PREMIUMTIMESNG/

He claimed that the bandits ambushed the vehicles after they were repaired on the Tureta-Bakura road, abducting over 50 people.

More than 20 people managed to flee afterwards, according to Zurmi, albeit some of them were injured to varying degrees.

He verified that 30 members are being held captive, and that the kidnappers had phoned their Union members to confirm that they are with them. According to him, the bandits have not yet sought a ransom.

The Secretary of the Union also suspected the involvement of informants, who he claimed could have alerted the kidnappers to their whereabouts.

Zurmi pleaded for the appropriate authorities to intervene immediately and ensure the abductees’ safe return.

He also gave security services and government officials a 48-hour deadline to ensure the abductees’ release.

Nigerian authorities are coming under increasing fire for failing to address rampant insecurity, which includes armed groups’ frequent killings and kidnappings for ransom.

In a speech to mark the 23rd anniversary of Nigeria’s return to democracy on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the rise in violence by various armed groups across the country.

He said his government was doing its best to address the problem.

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Ekeomah Atuonwu

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