Armed bandits have kidnapped more than 50 wedding guests on the Sokoto-Zamfara highway.
Telephone marketers from Gusau’s popular Bebeji Plaza were among those kidnapped, according to sources.
When the incident occurred between Tureta-Bakura road around 6 p.m. on Saturday, they were returning to Gusau after attending a wedding of a colleague in Sokoto State.
A Toyota coaster bus from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a Gusau Local Government Secretariat staff vehicle, and two other private vehicles transported the wedding guests.
While narrating the incident to newsmen in Gusau on Sunday, Ashiru Zurmi, the Secretary of the Union of Communication in Zamfara State, said one of the vehicles transporting the guests developed a fault at Tureta in Sokoto State and was fixed by an automobile mechanic after about 40 minutes.
He claimed that the bandits ambushed the vehicles after they repaired a faulty vehicle along the Tureta-Bakura road, abducting more than 50 people.
More than 20 people managed to flee later, according to Zurmi, though some of them were injured to varying degrees.
“At Tureta, their motor developed a fault, and they hired a mechanic, who assisted them for about 40 minutes and got the motor repaired. They began to travel to Zamfara, but were ambushed by kidnappers in the Tureta and Bakura axis. Over 50 people were kidnapped, but Alhamdulilah, more than 20 people managed to flee,” Zurmi said.
He confirmed that 30 members are being held captive, and that the abductors have contacted members of their union to confirm their presence.
“We have identified thirty members who are still in captivity; fortunately, they used the captives’ phones (about five of our members) to call us today; they only informed us that they are with them.”
According to him, the bandits have not yet demanded a ransom.
The Secretary of the Union also suspected the involvement of informants, who he claimed may have alerted the kidnappers to their location.
“Definitely something like that happened; we have it in our heads that there was an informant who gave the bandits the information to attack them because it was just them; other passenger cars passed by, but they didn’t care; they only focused on the coaster bus with the Zamfara government number.”
Zurmi pleaded with the appropriate authorities to intervene immediately and ensure the abductees’ safe return.
He also gave security agencies and government officials a 48-hour deadline to ensure the abductees’ release.