Abubakar Idris, a social media personality known for his strong criticism of Governor Umar Ganduje, has not been found more than a month after unidentified assailants breached his residence and took him away.
Mr Idris, a 34-year-old university lecturer, has been a major critic of Mr Ganduje’s administration in Kano State. He was kidnapped in Kaduna, just south of Kano, where he has lived for several years. He regularly expressed his affection for former Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, crediting him for supporting his education.
Armed men entered his residence in Barnawa neighbourhood at about 1:00 a.m. on August 2, his wife told PREMIUM TIMES. He was returning home when the attackers, said to be armed and on red caps, swooped on him and took him away in his BMW vehicle.
One month later, neither Mr Idris nor his car had been found. Initial insinuations that he might have been arrested by the dreaded State Security Service was later denied by the agency, leaving his family in agony.
Mr Idris’ wife told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday the family had been traumatised by the development, especially his two children, who are barely five and one.
“The children have been asking for their daddy,” she said in tears by telephone. “The police are telling us they would do their best and we have not been able to get anything more than that from them.”
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party and its supporters said Mr Idris’ disappearance underscored the peril of the country’s acute insecurity. They called on federal and state authorities to ensure a safe return of the missing social media influencer to his loved ones.
The police also expressed strong concerns about the unusual turn of Mr Idris’ disappearance when reached by PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, this does not look like the conventional kidnapping we know,” Kaduna police spokesperson, Abubakar Sabo, said. “They did not call for any ransom and did not disclose any whereabouts of the victim.”
Kaduna has been amongst the top states afflicted with a kidnapping menace raging across Nigeria. Hundreds of people have been abducted in the state over the past year, and its end of the Abuja-Kaduna Highway has been largely taken over by ruthless attackers.
Most kidnapping often ended in ransoms, which are requested promptly after a victim had been abducted — often within a few hours or a few days.
The police are puzzled that Mr Idris has been missing for more than a month without any sign of life, but insisted they are looking for him.
“The police are still on the investigation,” Mr Sabo, a deputy police superintendent, said. “The police still contacted the victim’s brother yesterday and they are working to get to the root of this sad incident.”