From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse, Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Gunmen had free rein in Jigawa State on Christmas Day as they killed two police officers, abducted a nursing mother and abandoned her one-month old baby in a separate incident.
In Ekiti State, gunmen also struck on Christmas Day at about 6pm, abducting travellers along Isan-Iludun road. The combined efforts of the police, Amotekun corps, and local hunters led to the rescue of one of the victims.
Sunday Sun reports that two senior police officers were killed during a gun duel with suspected kidnappers at Jargo Fulani settlement of Garki LGA Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
According to Police Public Relations Officer for the state, SP Abdul Jinjiri, the slain officers stormed the hideout of the kidnappers terrorising residents of the area based on earlier intelligence.
He said a joint operation of police divisions under Gumel Area Command was organised on Christmas day at 3:00am to besiege and arrest the criminals.
But “unfortunately, the hoodlums on sighting the advancing police, opened fire on them, leading to a serious gun battle.”
The PPRO said it was sad that the hoodlums killed two senior police officers and injured another constable while one of the criminals was also killed.
Abdu Jinjiri said in a separate development, gunmen kidnapped a nursing mother living behind her one-month-old baby in Gujungu town of Taura Local Government Area of the state.
He said the gunmen also stormed the residence of one Alhaji Basiru Haruna and whisked away his 23-year-old wife Habashiyya Haruna, lamenting that the incident was only reported after about eight hours, making it difficult for the police to trace the kidnappers.
“Reporting late doesn’t help. How can the police rescue the victim when the criminals have left for over eight hours? People must learn to report to the police early.
“And for the husband to run away leaving his wife and baby behind, creates a lot of doubts.”
In Ekiti, Sunday Sun reports that a joint effort of the police, Amotekun corps and hunters on Christmas Day rescued a victim, Oluwaseun Fatile, out of two persons that were kidnapped by gunmen.
The incident happened along Isan-Iludun road at about 6pm, when the commuters were stopped by gun-wielding bandits.
It was learnt that security outfits were still making efforts to rescue the second abductee, Happiness Ajayi, from her captors.
The former Commissioner for Agriculture in Ekiti State, Mr. Folorunso Olabode, was kidnapped along that route, while one of his political associates was shot dead by the gunmen.
A source from Iludun Ekiti confirmed to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday that the driver of a vehicle coming behind the victims quickly alerted the police and Amotekun corps of the development.
“The people immediately called the police in Oye-Ekiti and Amotekun corps who were joined by local hunters and gave the gunmen a hot chase into the bush and rescued one of the victims.”
Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State command, Mr Sunday Abutu, confirmed that his men at the Oye Divisional Police Station worked with other local security outfits to rescue one of the victims.
Also speaking, Amotekun corps commander in Ekiti, Brig. Gen. Joe Komolafe (retd), said the victims were waylaid by the gunmen and opened fire on them when they stopped their vehicle.
Komolafe explained that his men who were on routine patrol gave the kidnappers a hot chase and rescued Oluwaseun.
Komolafe called on residents of the state not to panic as his men in collaboration with other security agents would ensure the safe return of the victim and maximum security of the highways during the Yuletide.
Meanwhile, armed bandits continued their onslaught on communities across Niger State with the killing of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward leader in Kampala village in Bosso Local government Area, Alhaji Ahmodu Mohammed on Thursday morning and abduction of three of his daughters.
Also, seven other people were killed in Kusasu in Shiroro Local Government Area on Friday night while several houses of those who escaped the attacks were set ablaze by the bandits.
One of the people killed in Kusasu was said to have been set ablaze when both bullets and knife cuts could not penetrate him.
Those killed in Kusasu included two women and four men.
However, nemesis caught up with the driver of the bandits as men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) in Shiroro arrested him on Friday.
Meanwhile outrage and condemnations have continued to trail the continued onslaught by bandits across the state.