From John Adams, Minna
chief of Staff (CoS) to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, Ibrahim Balarabe, yesterday, narrowly escaped being abducted by bandits while he was returning from his hometown in Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area, where he had gone for the ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) revalidation and registration exercise.
However, no fewer than 18 passengers on board a Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) were kidnapped on Minna-Tegina Road in the local government area.
The incident occurred at about 3pm at Kundu village, about 200 meters to the famous Zungeru bridge when the passengers, who were said to be returning from a wedding at Rijau, Rijau Local Government Area were taken into the bush by the bandits numbering about 40.
The bandits were reportedly laying ambush for the CoS and his entourage who had travelled to Kagara earlier for the APC revalidation and registration exercise when the passengers bus ran into the road block.
Niger State Emergency Management Agency Director General, Ibrahim Inga, who confirmed the incident to Daily Sun in a telephone interview, said the chief of staff convoy got to the scene shortly after the passengers had been abducted.
According to him, they met a woman with her child who was left by the bandits, who told them other 18 passengers in the bus had been taken away by the bandits which she said numbered about 40 and all heavily armed.
“The only thing I can tell you now is we have rescued the woman and her baby and she is in the vehicle with us and we are on our way to Minna.
“She told us the bandits blocked the way and went away with other 18 passengers in the bus.
“No government official was among those kidnapped. I canno give more than that for now because the woman is traumatised and we cannot be asking her too many questions for now,” Inga said.
Meanwhile, efforts to speak to the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Wasiu Abiodun, was unsuccessful as he neither picked his calls nor respond to messages.