Despite the recent deployment of additional police officers to bolster security measures, a community in Abuja finds itself ensnared in an escalating kidnapping crisis.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command’s efforts to assuage concerns and reassure residents have been met with challenges as criminal activities continue to surge in the region.
On Sunday evening, Sagwari Layout Estate in Dutse, a suburb of the FCT’s Bwari Area Council, became the latest target of criminal elements. A group of kidnappers, disguised as herdsmen, infiltrated the estate, abducting eight residents and two hotel staff.
The assailants, armed and dangerous, herded their victims to the hills behind the estate, resisting vehemently when security personnel attempted to intervene.
A witness reported that attempts by both security personnel and estate security to pursue the kidnappers faced strong resistance. The bandits, armed with superior firepower, held vantage positions atop the hills, firing upon those attempting to apprehend them.
Despite assurances from the FCT Police Command over the weekend, promising heightened security in areas like Ushafa, Bwari, and surroundings, the incident in Dutse raises questions about the effectiveness of these measures.
Ushafa, located just five minutes from the affected estate, remains within the proximity of the escalating crisis.
Likewise, a Veritas University student based in Bwari, scheduled to return from the Christmas Break on January 8, 2024, received a cautionary message from a taxi driver, advising against resumption due to the heightened activities of bandits in the area.
Haruna Garba, FCT Police Commissioner, visited Bwari areas last recently to assess the security situation in response to previous kidnapping reports.
The command cautioned against spreading unverified information, emphasizing the importance of preventing unnecessary panic among residents.
The grim reality persisted as incidents like the December 24 invasion of Garam community, located a mere five minutes’ drive from Bwari, resulted in the tragic killing of a pastor from the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the abduction of 13 others.
Subsequently, on December 28, bandits targeted Kuduru in the FCT, kidnapping 18 individuals.
As the community grapples with an unabated surge in abductions, the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts to curb these criminal activities remains a pressing concern for residents and authorities alike.