• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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BusinessDay

Abuja braces for protest as grief grips Middle-Belt over kidnappings

Rising tensions are expected in Abuja on Wednesday as the Middle-Belt Youth Forum stages a protest against the rampant kidnappings gripping the region and broader areas of the country.

The demonstration in Abuja, fueled by the recent murders of several abductees, including a university student, comes amid growing frustration over perceived government inaction.

The planned march to the Attorney-General’s office reflects demands for a crackdown on kidnappers and bandits, urging their official designation as terrorists. This call resonates deeply with many Nigerians traumatized by a relentless wave of abductions and violence.

The specter of tragedy hangs heavy over the protest, casting a long shadow from the Dutsen-Alhaji estate in Bwari.

Nineteen residents remain captive, including nine whose release hinges on a staggering N700 million ransom. Already, four hostages, among them a promising young student, have been brutally murdered, allegedly due to ransom delays.

Grief in the region intensifies with the plight of Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, a 400-level biological science student at Ahmadu Bello University, snatched alongside six siblings.

Five sisters, including another high-achieving student, Nadherah, remain in captivity after their father’s release. The kidnappers’ escalating ransom demands, initially set at N60 million and now doubled, add to the family’s agonizing ordeal.

Folashade Ariyo’s family endures similar anguish. Her mother and three siblings share the uncertain fate of the Dutsen-Alhaji captives, their lives hanging precariously in the balance. The cold-blooded killing of Folashade, only 13 years old, has ignited nationwide outrage, fueling the protest’s momentum.