Hours after armed bandits abducted three housewives in an early morning raid in the area, six persons met with the same fate Saturday evening along the Birnin-Gwari – Kaduna highway.
Earlier on Sunday, PREMIUM TIMES reported the abduction of the women at Maganda village along the Birnin-Gwari – Funtua road.
The latest incident occurred around 9 p.m. on Saturday when the bandits opened fire on the commercial vehicle the victims were travelling in.
One of the passengers reportedly died in the attack after the driver lost control and their vehicle veered into the bush.
The Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Birnin Gwari, Danladi Duniya, and the driver of the vehicle confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES.
According to Mr Duniya, the driver of the vehicle, a Volkswagen Golf 3 car, escaped as they were being taken into the bush by their abductors.
“Yes, one of our commercial cars plying Kaduna-Birnin Gwari road was attacked by armed men. One of the passengers in the car lost his life and has since been taken to his village Buruku for burial,” he said.
The driver of the vehicle, who declined to give his name to our reporter, in a telephone interview, narrated how the incident occurred.
“I left Kaduna to Birnin Gwari with seven persons in the car including myself making eight. When we got to Labbi village around 9 p.m. yesterday (Saturday), those bandits opened fire on the car and I lost control of it.
“When the car finally stopped in the bush I realised one passenger was dead.
“The bandits didn’t care as they asked us to follow them into the bush. It was night and there was confusion. So, I sneaked through the dark and escaped, leaving behind six other persons with them,” he said.
Asked if the passenger that died was shot by the bandits he said, “Honestly, I don’t know because it was in the night and it will be difficult to know if he was hit by a bullet or not,” he said.
According to him, the incident was reported to the police in Birnin Gwari.
He appealed for more security personnel along the highway.
“The truth is you only see policemen on the highway in the afternoon. But anything from 5 p.m. you can’t see any policeman on the road, leaving the bandits to operate with impunity,” he said.
Police spokesperson in the state, Aliyu Muktar, did not answer calls to his phone for his comment.
Attacks in Birnin Gwari have caused over 100 deaths in 2018. The Nigerian Army last week announced a new battalion for the local government to help ensure security for the area.
So far, however, the new battalion has not stopped the bandits from carrying out their nefarious activities.