Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have expressed worries over the rising spate of kidnapping in the country’s capital, saying the menace calls for urgent action by the security agencies and the government.
Two of the victims of the marauding kidnappers, who spoke with SaharaReporters, recalled their horrendous experiences in the hands of the assailants, noting that it was” “a journey of life-and-death.”
SaharaReporters had recently reported the case of a Punch newspaper journalist, Victor Nnodim, who was kidnapped alongside two of his neighbours by gunmen in his house at Kubwa, Abuja.
On Sunday, barely days after, gunmen also abducted one person and shot at three others in Abuja’s Pegi community when the victims were returning home from work.
This was the same period that a retired Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, Alhaji Abdulahi Idris Rakieu, was kidnapped in Abuja alongside his wife, another family member and one Olushola Agun.
In a chat with SaharaReporters, one of the freed victims, who did not want to be identified for security reasons, stated that the kidnappers refused to feed him for the days he spent with them.” “They tied my hands backwards and also my two legs. At that point, it was more difficult for me to breathe or to walk. For days, I was asked to lie on the dusty ground. I was abducted from my house. There is no food in the forests and no sounds. Just cold, darkness and all the terrible things any mortal can imagine.” “My kidnappers were beating me all over the back. As I cried, they put me on the phone so that my family members could hear my agony and they also could have heartbreaks.
“It was a terrible moment in my life. I paid a ransom of N5million before I was released. The attackers had demanded N10million from my poor family” one of the victims said.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Monday, some Abuja residents noted that it was true that kidnapping was now rampant but added that the abductions could not extend to the city centre, where a respondent claimed” “is very safe.”
The FCT is segregated into three partitions – satellite towns, City Centre and neighbouring cities.
Chima Obi, a resident, thinks the kidnap occurrence happens in the neighbouring towns close to the highways already notorious for harbouring bandits.
“I have not heard of kidnapping in the city centre and the satellite towns. The much I have heard of kidnapping are people travelling from Abuja down to Kaduna or any of these neighbouring Northern states. These are the places the abductions take place.
“Within the city centre, there are no many incidents of kidnapping. Almost every political office holder in Nigeria lives in Abuja,so that makes the city centre very safe because they don’t play with security” he opined.
Another resident of Abuja, Chinedu, said he is more concerned than scared about the situation. He believes the rise in kidnap incidents in the FCT should make anyone concerned as no one knows who the next victim might be.
He said,” “As a resident, I am concerned about the incident but not so scared because this used to be one of the safest places in the country.”
Chioma Ruphina buttressedChinedu’ss view, saying kidnapping is more common on the highways linking Abuja to some Northern states.