A groom and five others were abducted by gunmen along the Wukari-Ibi road in Taraba on Friday evening, residents have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The victims were returning from a wedding at Gboko, in the neighbouring Benue State, when their vehicle was stopped at Dan-Wanzam village by the gunmen.
A community leader in the area, who asked not to be named for security reasons, confirmed the incident.
“The gunmen simply stopped a bus that was conveying the groom with his friends mostly youths.
‘’With the groom, six people were kidnapped and the incident took place about 4-5 kilometres from Ibi main town.
‘’The kidnappers were mostly Fulani herdsmen residing in our areas, we all know them. They asked for N10 million as ransom which we declined.
‘’To be fair to our security operatives, police have tried in collaboration with local vigilantes.
‘’ Our vigilantes need little support to engage these bandits. The government needs to mobilize the vigilantes and support them to enable them discharge their work effectively,” said the community leader.
For now, youth and other courageous individuals in the area are bracing up to challenge the bandits that had kept terrorizing residents, said another leader in the community.
‘’We will challenge them because the Ibi-Wukari road is now a danger zone because at any point they (bandits) can strike. They operate with impunity along that highway because it’s bordering Ibi-Wukari and Benue.
‘’Amidst coronavirus, what a double trouble? Haba, enough is enough.
‘’We want them to release them unconditionally, or they shall taste the bitter pill.
‘’We know all their people and families, we too can revenge, so they should hurriedly better release them, in their interest or to face our anger; we are tired of all the nonsense.’’
The police spokesperson in the state, David Misal, also confirming the incident.
He said some bandits suspected to be kidnappers, armed with AK 47 rifles, blocked Wukari – Ibi road, stopped a vehicle, and took the occupants into the bush.
He added that a search party led by Operation Puff Adder had gone after the hoodlum and are currently combing the bush to rescue the victims.