The prolonged silence of suspected kidnappers since the abduction of Magajin Garin Daura Musa Umar Uba at his residence in Daura, is raising more questions than answers.
It is also sparking fears, leaving family members and residents confused, even as postulation of several theories are increasing. It is 11 days now, since his abduction by unidentified gunmen who stormed his home in the ancient city of Daura after Magrib prayers. Daily Trust Saturday’s findings revealed that there has been no communication established with the kidnappers.
This is after reports that key suspects have been arrested, according to the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, who disclosed it at the end of a security meeting with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday. Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, he told correspondents that the criminals will be brought to book.
Family sources at the time of filing this report, however, told Daily Trust Saturday that they are yet to receive any update on rescue efforts. One of them said they only heard it in the media that security operatives have made arrests, while another said the lack of information is also causing them a lot of anguish. Another point that is fuelling fear, is the fact that during the abduction, there was a gun duel between the police and the kidnappers, during which a police Inspector called Muntari Maikudi, attached to Kusada Division, sustained a gunshot injury.
The traditional ruler was said to have been put in the boot of the vehicle which the abductor’s drove, without further confirmation of his well-being thereafter. The Magajin Gari’s abduction also signals a change in pattern of the heightening wave of kidnappings across the state. Hitherto, cases occur along isolated roads or settlements, but this, and that of Governor Aminu Masari’s mother in-law, took place in urban areas, described by witnesses as “commando-style”.
This change in pattern is partially responsible for sending shivers down the collective spine of residents and sympathizers, as is the lack of communication from the kidnappers. Also, it has triggered the emergence of many theories which do little or nothing to calm down the Magajin Gari’s family and friends. One of the more far-out theories is that the Magajin Gari’s royal status as a prince, added with the fact that he’s an in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, made him a target of his abductors. But a more upbeat notion holds that perhaps the kidnappers are simply incommunicado because they are waiting for what might be the right time for them, or simply after terrorising family and friends to a point.
The Magajin Gari, a senior traditional title-holder in the emirate, is a younger brother of the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk. A retired Customs officer, he is married to Haiya Bilki, a niece of President Buhari. Also, he is the father of Fatima, who is married to the president’s Aide De Camp (ADC), Col. ML Abubakar. Other theories include one which postulates that the abductors are not out for money, but just to make some sort of point which is for now unclear.
Although the family has remained resolute, and have handed over all things to God, their spokesman and younger brother of the abducted Magajin Gari, Umar Umar Ata said there was no communication since then, and the family and people in the domain are intensifying prayers for his safe return, along with others in captivity, as well. For the police, the massive strategic security operations taking place across the nation, including Katsina, is aimed at subduing the criminal gangs. But Force spokesman, Frank Mba, said because of the covert and sensitive nature of the operations, “I will not discuss them for now.”
He added that, however, Nigerians should rest assured that the entire law enforcement and intelligence community in Nigeria will not rest until the battle against crimes and criminality is won. Commands spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, also did not give details, but said: “There is a substantial development, but for security reasons we are not going to disclose it now. We’re waiting for the right time, but victory is ours.”
He had earlier in a statement said since the abduction, the police have been in Daura investigating, insisting that “not a single call was made between the abducted [Magajin Gari] and his family”. According to him, the IGP Tactical Squad, SARS teams, PMF, and counter-terrorism units have already been despatched to rescue the victim alive, and safely, to his family.
Narrating how it happened, Isah said a little after 7:00pm on May 1, unidentified persons numbering about six, shooting sporadically into the air, stormed the residence of Magajin Garin Daura, Alh Musa Uba in a blue, unregistered Peugeot 406, and abducted him from where he sat, on a bench outside his residence. The abductors also drove a Toyota Hi-Lux truck. According to sources, the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar, is very disturbed over the incident, and has ordered for prayers to be intensified across the emirate. His Katsina counterpart, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, called for increased security in the state, saying he did so because of the daily reports he receives of killings and kidnapping across the state.
The Emir of Katsina had said: “It’s very unfortunate. I have not seen this kind of country, how do we live like animals? Nobody is safe now, whether at home or on the road, wherever.” He made a call out to President Buhari, adding: “What we want for you to do for us is to stop it. Many people have deserted, abandoned their farms in fear of kidnapping, killings, and other atrocities.”