Gunmen shoot Civil Defence officer, kidnap nine in Abuja

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel training in preparation for the 2019 General Elections in Port Harcourt on Monday (18/2/19). NSCDC have deployed 60,000 personnel nationwide for the elections. 01489/19/2/2019/Chidi Ohalete/BJO/NAN
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel

Violent attackers waylaid a fleet of commuters in Abuja on Monday night, abducting nine people in yet another instance of growing insecurity across the nation’s capital.

Officials told PREMIUM TIMES a Civil Defence officer was shot and another kidnapped alongside eight civilians during the attack on people heading home after work.

The incident occurred in Peki, a remote suburb about 43 kilometres southwest of the Abuja city centre.

The police in Abuja confirmed the incident in a statement Tuesday afternoon but declined to provide details of how many persons were arrested or their identities.

But the spokesperson for Civil Defence, Emmanuel Okeh, informed PREMIUM TIMES that nine persons were abducted in the violence that could worsen residents’ safety fears around the capital.

Mr Okeh identified the abducted civil defence officer as Tosin Ayeni, an assistant superintendent. The critically wounded officer, Aku Attah, a chief superintendent, is undergoing treatment at the hospital.

The kidnappers have reportedly reached out to the families of their victims and demanded ransoms.

Efforts have commenced to secure the release of all victims, authorities said.

Previously seen as largely isolated from the violent crimes that afflicted many parts of the country, Abuja appeared to have succumbed to the exploits of kidnappers and armed robbers in recent months.

Still, the police insisted crimes across the capital had not gotten to the alarming levels of other parts of the country and urged residents to be more circumspect about their personal safety and security.

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