The recent killings and abduction of innocent citizens by suspected kidnappers across Nasarawa State have become worrisome. Life has become so cheap as kidnappers murder and abduct people unabated both in rural and urban areas without being challenged by security operatives.
The previous administration of Umaru Tanko Almakura witnessed a peak of insecurity since the inception of the state. With the emergence of Governor Abdullahi Sule in 2019, violence, tribal rivalry and kidnapping reduced.
However, the last four months have witnessed another resurgence of suspected Fulani kidnappers and killings. Out of every kidnapping case reported or suspects paraded by the police command in the state, 95 per cent of the culprits are of Fulani extraction. The Nasarawa and Toto flanks of the state are the local government areas where kidnapping and armed robberies happen most frequently.
However, kidnapping has spread to all parts of the state, as widows, farmers, and students are not spared in the crises. The recent kidnap of over 30 passengers along Loko/Mararaba Udege expressway by unknown gunmen, who invaded the road at noon with over 50 motorcycles, has created the worst nightmare in the state.
The kidnap and killings that broke the camel’s back was the one that took place in Gudi, the hometown of the sitting governor, Sule. It was the kidnap and killing of Mr. Salisu Maku and his younger sister, Sada’ata Maku, children of the elder brother of former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku.
The kidnapers invaded the home of Mr Usman Maku at about 8:00p.m. some 100 metres away from a police checkpoint near the Gudi Railway crossing and 200 metres from the residence of Governor Sule.
Eyewitness reported that the kidnappers invaded the residence with sporadic shootings and killed Sada’atu, a 400-level Pharmacy student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The kidnappers went further to abduct Salisu Maku, a senior immigration officer and his wife the same evening. The attack went unchallenged despite being close to a nearby police checkpoint.
Salisu Maku was murdered and his dead body was later found a few metres away from his residence, while the kidnappers took away his wife.
“After killing the two children, the criminals still demanded N20 million as ransom before they eventually released the wife of the late Salisu Maku,” a family member lamented.
As if that was not enough, two weeks ago, a kidnapping gang attacked and killed a traditional ruler of Odu community in Udege Magaji, Nasarawa Local Government Area. The traditional ruler was attacked and shot by suspected kidnappers who invaded his resident at about 2:00pm, according to eyewitness report.
It is no longer news that some infiltrated Boko Haram fighters have taken over a forest called Kanyifu, which is situated between Umasha in Toto Local Government Area and Kogi State.
The state chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Hon. Adams Nyisana, while speaking on the unabated resurgence of heinous crime in the state, said that the insecurity is so bad now that people are being kidnapped on a daily basis.
“People can’t go to their farms because of fear of being killed,” he said. “People no longer feel safe in their homes in the state. The governor should be proactive in fighting these hoodlums. Life is no longer secure in our communities in the state.
Meanwhile, Governor Sule has reiterated his administration’s determination to ensure a safe and secure Nasarawa State to attract investors. Sule, however, warned Fulani chiefs in the state to tame their children because his administration would not tolerate or harbour any criminal element in the state.
Sule, who gave the warning during a security summit hosted by the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Sidi Bage, noted that most criminal elements involved in kidnapping and other crimes are some Fulani youths.
The state’s Commissioner of Police Mr. Bola Longe, has also said that his command would stop at nothing to deal ruthlessly with criminals in the state.
Alonge, however, thanked Governor Abdullahi and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, for all the support so far received in the fight against kidnapping and other crimes in the state.