Katsina State came under heavy fire of bandits Wednesday as the District Head of Daura, Alhaji Musa Umar, was abducted by four gunmen.
Daura, the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari, shared the discomfort with Gobirawa and Sabawa villages in Safana Local Government Area, where 17 persons were reported killed in a night attack by bandits who also injured scores of people.
Said to be Buhari’s in-law, Umar, a former customs officer, is also said to be married to the daughter of the president’s sister.
He is also reported to be the father of Fatima, wife of Col. Mohammed Abubakar, Buhari’s aide-de-camp (ADC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that police officers are on the trail of the criminals.
Witnesses told NAN that the kidnappers stormed his residence at 7p.m. yesterday and shot sporadically into the air, scaring the hell out of bystanders, who scampered for safety.
Umar had just returned from the mosque where he took part in the evening prayer when the incident happened.
He was sitting in front of his house with some people when the gun totting men came.
A witness told NAN that the kidnappers came in a Peugeot 406 saloon car.
After the gunmen left, the Daura Council Chairman Malam Abba Mato, and hundreds of sympathisers came to Umar’s residence, to discuss the incident.
17 Others Killed in Katsina
In a related development, bandits struck again on Tuesday night in Gobirawa and Sabawa villages in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, killing no fewer than 17 people with several others sustaining injuries.
The member representing Safana constituency at the Katsina State House of Assembly, Hon. Abduljalal Runka, who confirmed the development to journalists yesterday, said the armed bandits in their dozens stormed the villages on motorbikes shooting sporadically.
He explained that the bandits started their dastardly acts in Gobirawa village where most of the victims were killed and later moved to Sabawa in the early hours of yesterday, leaving many women and children missing.
According to him, “They entered the villages yesterday, killed people and burnt houses and shops. As of now, we have 17 corpses on the ground and we are still sorting out. On Friday they entered another village called Ilela and killed two children.
“The federal government should come to our aid. What the bandits are doing in Zamfara is what they are doing in Katsina. Even yesterday, I moved a motion on the issue at the state Assembly. It is necessary for federal government to focus its attention in Katsina State.”
The lawmaker reiterated that the measures taken by the federal government to tackle the menace in Zamfara State should be extended to Katsina State in order to end what he described as deadly attacks.
The state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Mr. Gambo Isah, who confirmed the incident said police personnel, including mobile policemen and other security agencies have been deployed in the affected areas to put the situation under control and fish out the perpetrators for prosecution.
According to him, “Yesterday at about 18:10 hours, a group of bandits operating on over 150 motorcycles attacked Gobirawa and Sabawa villages, killing 13 persons, touched unspecified number of houses and rustled animals.”
He said police patrol team were later dispatched to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in gun duel and chased them out of the villages.
Isah added that the command in collaboration with other security agencies was doing everything humanly possible to put an end to banditry and other heinous crime in the state.