Bandits burn tractors, abduct 22 farmers in Abuja

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Bandits have gone on rampage in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, burning two tractors and abducting 22 farmers.

The incidents happened at Rafin-Daji community, Gurdi ward of Abaji Area Council of Abuja.

Rafin-Daji shares boundary with Zago community in Niger State and both communities are connected through river Gurara.

A farmer, Saidu Yakubu, who escaped, said the incident happened around 2pm on Thursday.

He said bandits wielding AK -47 rifles attacked farmers that were cultivating their lands in the community.

The farmer said the bandits shot sporadically into the air before whisking away the farmers and burning down two tractors on a large farm land in the community.

According to him, 13 family members were among the 22 abducted victims.

He gave the names of the family members as Ismaila Barde, Mustapha Barde, Nasiru Barde, Abdulkarim Barde, Sanusi Barde, Usman, Barde, Nura Barde, Abdullahi Barde, Babawo Barde, Farida Ayuba, Hauwa Ayuba and Hussaini Abdullahi.

Yakubu said the 13 family members, including two females, were working on separate farm lands when they bandits swopped on them.

“It was only God that saved me as I managed to escape when the bandits were shooting into the air,” he said.

The district head of Gurdi Chiefdom, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, confirmed the abduction of farmers and burning of tractors to Daily Trust on Friday, but said he was yet to ascertain the number of the abducted farmers.

The district head said his people were under siege as bandits usually invade his chiefdom through Niger state.

Bala said he had reported the latest kidnap incident to the police and also the authorities of Abaji area council.

Confirming the attacks, a spokesman of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, ASP Oduniyi Omotayo, said efforts were ongoing to rescue the victims and bring perpetrators to book.

He said, “Upon receipt of the information, a combined team of police officers from various tactical and intelligence units of the command, hunters, vigilantes, hunters stormed the forest and combed it aggressively.”

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