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Gunmen Strike Again, Kidnap Passengers On The Benin-Auchi Road

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Unknown gunmen on Tuesday have kidnapped all the passengers in an Abuja-bound commercial bus along the Benin-Auchi road in Edo State.

The incident reportedly happened around 11 a.m. between the Ehor and Iruekpen axis of the busy highway.

A commuter, who identified himself as Idris Audu, said the kidnappers struck at a failed portion of the road and abducted all the passengers in the commercial bus owned by a transport firm, Big Joe.

“The kidnappers struck again on the Benin-Auchi road and abducted an unspecified number of passengers. The incident just happened when I passed the spot. All the passengers were forcefully taken into the bush‎,” Mr Audu said.

“It is not the first time this is happening. We have cried many times that the security agencies should increase surveillance along the road this season, but they’re slow in arresting this ugly situation.”

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A driver of the transport company, who requested not to be named, confirmed the incident.

“Yes, it happened earlier today,” he simply said.

The transport firm is yet to speak officially on the kidnap.

Chidi Nwabuzor, the state Police Public Relations Officer, said he had not been briefed of the development.

“I am not aware of it. Some incidents are not reported and even when they are because they are from local government divisions, they do not get to us immediately. So, give us some time for us to get in touch with the officers and men in the affected area,” Mr Nwabuzor said.

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He, however, did not get back as of the time of filing this report.

On December 3, a member of a vigilante group in the Urhokosa/Obagie area of the Benin-Auchi highway was killed by kidnappers after several passengers were kidnapped.

Several cases of kidnapping have been reported in the last few weeks along the road and many parts of the nation.

Following the escalating rate of kidnapping and armed robbery incidents along the busy road, Johnson Kokumo, the state Commissioner of Police, on December 13, said more policemen had been posted from the force headquarters in Abuja ”to dominate the troubled highway and scare hoodlums”.

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But the rate of kidnapping and robbery along the road, which leads to Abuja, has remained unabated.

Flashpoints for robbery and kidnapping on the axis over the years are Urhokosa, Obagie, Ogbemudia Farm, Agbede, Aviele, and the boundary between Edo and Kogi states at Okepella.

Tuesday’s kidnap in the state adds to the worsening insecurity across Nigeria.

At least 349 people were killed and 290 others kidnapped in November in violent attacks across Nigeria, a report by a non-governmental organisation, Nigeria Mourn, shows. At least 57 of those killed were in Edo State.

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Police Nab 3 Robbers, Recover Single Barrel Gun In Kogi.

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Police Nab 3 Robbers, Recover Single Barrel Gun In Kogi.

By Sadiq Abubakar, Kogi.

The Kogi state police command has arrested three suspected armed robbers and recovered a single barrel gun.

Spokesman of the Kogi state police command, DSP Williams Ovye Aya, in a statement yesterday, said the suspects were arrested by the operatives of Operation Puff Adder II attached to Iyara police division, Kabba.

He said the police received a distress call at at about 2200hrs, after three armed men invaded a POS shop at Ogidi, and attacked the operator, in which they inflicted injuries on him and forcefully collected unspecified amount of money.

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“Consequently, upon the report, the Operatives of Operation Puff Adder II promptly swung into action through an intelligence led operation trailed the suspects to their hideout and were arrested,” he said.

He said exhibits recovered from the suspects, included one single barrel gun and phones, saying the suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of the investigation.

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Aya, reassured members of the public of the commands level of commitment in synergy with other security agencies in the state to ensure adequate protection of lives and properties.

He, therefore, called on the public to sharpens their power of observation and volunteer credible and timely information on the activities of criminal elements across the state.

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In Imo, Gunmen Reportedly Raze Police Divisional Headquarters, Free Suspects

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Gunmen on Saturday razed the Isiala Mbano Divisional Headquarters located at Umuelemai in Imo State.

The gunmen, who freed suspects held in the detention facility, invaded the divisional headquarters armoury and carted away arms.

Our correspondent gathered that gunmen on arrival condoned off the Divisional Headquarters located at Umueze Road and opened fire.

According to eyewitnesses, on arrival, the suspects sacked policemen on duty, freed suspects, invaded the arms storage department of the facility before setting it ablaze.

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While our correspondent had yet to confirm if any life was lost, our correspondent gathered that four policemen allegedly sustained gunshot injuries from the Invaders.

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Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen did not flee as they stayed by and supervised the burning of the police facility.

The source, who does not want his name in print said, “The gunmen came, condoned of the divisional headquarters and immediately opened fire on the policemen on duty. This was after they had freed all the suspects and collected all the arms. Afterwards, they set it ablaze using petrol to ignite fire. This is very unfortunate.”

The Interim Management Committee chairman of Isiala Mbano LGA, Chika Okoroike, who also confirmed the attack when contacted by The PUNCH, said that rescue mission was being facilitated by him.

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He blamed the removal of soldiers from Anara town 24 hours before the attack.

Okoroike, said that he made fervent moves to make sure that the military men who were posted out of Anara town on Friday without any reason were returned but all to no avail.

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The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, also confirmed the attack on the division when contacted by The PUNCH.

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The PUNCH reports that this is the fourth police divisional headquarters that had been attacked since February after Obowo, Aboh Mbaise and Ihitte/Uboma divisions were attacked, respectively

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Sheikh Gumi Revealed That He Met Top Politicians Inside Forest Working With Bandits”

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Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi,
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Sheikh Gumi Revealed That He Met Top Politicians Inside Forest Working With Bandits”

With the ways kidnappers kidnaping people and demanding for ransoms to secure their release is unfortunate and worrisome in this great country.

Recently, Sheikh Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric went into the bush again to negotiate with bandits.

Many Nigerians are of the opinion that the cleric should be arrested, claiming he has an influence or has a link with bandits.

The cleric has come out to react to the call for his arrest.

He said, “I am not the only one holding meeting with bandits, terrorists, and am not the first person. The only thing I struggled to do is to talk with the bandits for them to lay down their weapons and embrace peace. All I do say to them was that there is more to life, which they shouldn’t just continue.”

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He referred to those calling for his arrest as “fools”, stating he doesn’t go inside the bush without government approval.

He added that all the bandits he meets in the forest are always with government officials.

Sheikh Gumi

Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi

He also stated that his meeting with the bandits is producing a positive outcome.

The cleric has stated that those he meets inside the forest are not all Fulani herdsmen but also top government officials.

 

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