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Bandits ravaging the Kurgi Gabas community in the western part of Birnin-Gwari area in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, have killed a motorcyclist and abducted scores of travellers along the Birnin-Gwari, Funtua Road.
The terrorists were said to have blocked the Birnin-Gwari, Funtua Road, trapping no fewer than 30 vehicles and looting occupants’ loads.
The drivers or owners were reportedly forced to pay between N300, 000 and N1m to the terrorists before they could retrieve their vehicles.
The Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union, Ishaq Kasai, disclosed this in a statement released in Kaduna on Sunday.
He said, “On Thursday, September 15, 2022, bandits kidnapped three locals at farms in Kurgin Gabas community in the Western part of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“The bandits also invaded the same community on Friday snatched a motorcycle and killed the owner (Bala Balansi) before going back to the forest.
“Kurgin Gabas is sharing a border with Kamuku Forest Reserve which has become the main hideout of armed bandits from which the bandits usually come out to carry out attacks in communities in the Western part of Birnin-Gwari and the neighbouring Rafi LGA of Niger State.
“BEPU acknowledges that the security level at Birnin-Gwari to Kaduna Highway has improved following the earlier visit by GOC of 1 Div Kaduna and subsequent mobilisation of troops as well as occasional aerial surveillance along the road by security agencies.
“However, BEPU is deeply concerned that Birnin-Gwari/Funtua highway remains blocked by armed bandits whereby about 30 vehicles including big trucks are trapped and are yet to be retrieved by owners; and many of the travellers abducted during the attack on September 1, 2022 are yet to be released.
“Another disturbing scenario is that the bandits have carted away all the loads/goods contained in the trapped vehicles and people were forced by the bandits to pay huge amounts of money ranging from N300,000 to N1,000,000 to retrieve their trapped vehicles. The charge disparity depends on the size and nature of the vehicles.”
The union appealed for the mobilisation of troops to ensure the opening of the Birnin-Gwari-Funtua road and for retrieving the trapped vehicles unconditionally.
“The union believes that opening of the road and sustained surveillance will help in addressing the problem of attacks on travellers and in bringing permanent peace as well as enhancing business and other economic activities in Birnin-Gwari LGA.”