On Sunday, a group of bandits targeted travelers along the Abuja–Kaduna highway, resulting in the abduction of more than 30 individuals, as reported by witnesses and community leaders to the Daily Trust.
The abduction occurred at Dogon-Fili near Katari, situated along the Kaduna-Abuja highway in the Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Remarkably, this marks the first breach in security along the Abuja–Kaduna road in over ten months.
Investigations conducted by this newspaper revealed that the previous reported incident on this road took place on March 1, 2023, leading to the abduction of 23 people. Former lawmaker Senator Shehu Sani confirmed the recent attack on his social media page, stating that two of his friends narrowly escaped being kidnapped during the bandit assault.
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Sani further explained that the bandits, despite an increased presence of security operatives on the road, successfully blocked the route and operated for some time. Two of his friends, representing both opposition and ruling parties, narrowly escaped during the incident.
Sani expressed his concern, stating, “Just when we felt safer, last night (Sunday) kidnappers returned to the Kaduna-Abuja Road. They blocked the road and abducted scores of persons around 9 pm near Katari village.”
According to Suleiman Dan Baba, a resident of Katari, the bandits, armed with AK-47 rifles, emerged from the bush around 9:33 pm, blocking both lanes of the road and operating for approximately 45 minutes. They opened fire, deflated vehicle tires, and forced travelers to disembark at gunpoint before taking them into the bush.
Additional reports indicate that the bandits divided into two groups, infiltrating Bishini and Kokore communities along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, where they abducted an unspecified number of villagers.
Community leader Shuaibu Adamu Jere confirmed the incidents, mentioning that his relative narrowly escaped an attack near Dogon Fili. He reported an injured driver and two abandoned vehicles, a Sharon, and another small car, by the roadside after the incident.
While the exact number of people abducted remains unclear due to the nighttime attack, the injured driver was rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.
Despite the uncertainties, a lawyer from Katari, who preferred anonymity, affirmed the highway blockage on Sunday night. According to him, soldiers stationed approximately 500 meters from Katari successfully repelled the bandits.
When contacted, Kaduna State Overseeing Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, couldn’t confirm the development but promised to provide information after attending a meeting. However, he did not revert at press time.
The State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, committed to investigating and uncovering the details of the incident when contacted.