Kidnapping is gradually crippling commercial activities in Kaduna State as drivers are afraid of plying routes seen as notorious for kidnapping while farmers dread going to their farms for fear of being kidnapped.
Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen no longer block the road with stones or tree branches, but station themselves in the middle of the road armed to the teeth and open fire on approaching vehicles.
Passengers were stranded at the Kawo Motor Park in Kaduna on 8th February 2019 following a protest by commercial drivers plying Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Highway over the activities of gunmen and kidnappers on the road.
A most recent case is the abduction of two women identified as 13-year-old and 18-year-old sisters in Kudandan town, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State by unknown gunmen on 11th February 2019.
Also, Jibrin Saliu, a driver with National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Kawo Chapter, was attacked by the notorious bandits along Birnin Gwari/Kaduna Road penultimate Wednesday but escaped death with many bullets lodged in his neck.
Narrating his ordeal, Jibrin Dele said, “On Wednesday morning, I loaded my passengers at exactly 8.30am heading to Birnin Gwari, but getting to Ungwar Gagara, I heard gun shots from all angles. The bullet hit me on my neck three times then I fell down.
He called on the government to find a lasting solution to the menace as it is crippling many citizens’ means of livelihood.
For Ibrahim Inusa, a farmer, “I have not been able to go to my farm located in Buruku for over two months because I fear that when I go there, I might be kidnapped, killed or injured by the bandits.”
“I want to urge the government to dialogue with these bandits, find out what they want so that they will stop attacking innocent people going about their normal business,” he added.
The Kaduna State Police Command recently dismissed reports claiming that 50 people have been kidnapped by armed bandits along Kaduna-Abuja highway.
The command Deputy Public Relations Officer, ASP Nafiu Habib, however explained that the security of Kaduna-Abuja road has been well reviewed and enhanced on the directive of the Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdur-Rahman.
According to him, “Kaduna-Abuja road is safe for users, as the command has deployed additional personnel to all the identified flash points along the road.