At least 22 persons have been kidnapped in a community within Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following an attack by gunmen yet to be identified.
Confirming the assault, police authorities in the FCT said on Friday that the attack took place within Rafin Daji, a boundary community Between Niger State and the FCT.
Acting FCT police spokesman, Oduniyi Omotayo who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, said the gunmen attacked the community at the time farmers were cultivating their farm land.
“The farmers, according to Channels TV, were on their farm land working when gunmen outnumbered and kidnapped them,” the spokesperson wrote in a brief WhatsApp message.
Omotayo, however, did not give much details regarding the attack and those who were abducted.
Nonetheless, the police imagemaker said a combined team of security personnel have been deployed to the area and are combing it aggressively for traces of the abductors as to bring them to book and rescue the abductees.
Eyewitnesses say the gunmen shot sporadically when they invaded the community, fortunately, no lives were lost.
According to the witnesses, the assailants whisked away 22 farmers, burnt down two tractors belonging to the owner of a large farm in the area.
Thirteen members of a family were said to be among those abducted by the gunmen.
A relative of some of the victims, Engineer Ibrahim Barde said his immediate younger brothers and their families who were on their farms had barely finished their work when the gunmen attacked.
“They were 13 of them on the farm including seven children between the ages of 15 and 17, three women; one just got married last year and an aged woman, my brothers and the tractor driver,” the distressed engineer explained.
He gave the names of some of his relative kidnapped to include: “Ismaila Barde, Mustapha Barde, Nasiru Barde, Abdulkarim Barde, Sanusi Barde, Usman Barde, Nura Barde, Abdullahi Barde, Babawo Barde, Farida Ayuba, Hauwa Ayuba and Husai Abdullahi.
According to engineer Barde, the gunmen have contacted his family but were yet to make demands.
“They were asking us, how many of our families were abducted. We didn’t tell them because we suspected they trying to fish out a particular family. But they have not stated their demands yet,” he stressed.
When reached for comments regarding the attack, the district head of Gurdi Ward Alhaji Bala Mohammed also confirmed the incident, but said he was yet to get details of those abducted.
Alhaji Bala lamented that his people were constantly under the attack from bandits who have been coming into the FCT through Niger State.
He urged the authorities to deal decisively with the situation lest it totally degenerates.