The police have launched an operation to rescue 22 farmers abducted by bandits on Thursday in Rafin Dadi community, which lies on the border between the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Niger State.
It was gathered the gunmen struck when the farmers were working on their farm, burning two tractors in the process on Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Public Relations Officer of the FCT Police Command ASP Oduniyi Omotayo said a team of anti-kidnapping and counter terror units have been deployed to comb the surrounding forests and rescue the abducted farmers.
Omotayo, in a WhatsApp message to The Nation said: “The incidence happened in Rafin Daji, a boundary community between Niger and the FCT . The farmers were on their farm land working when gun men outnumbered and kidnapped them, upon receipt of this information, a combined team of Police officers from various Tactical and intelligence units of the Command, Destiny Hunters, Vigilantes, and Local hunters stormed the forest, combing it aggressively even as I speak. For the rescue of the victims and to bring perpetrators to book. Monitoring and surveillance of the community also continues.”
One of the farmers, who escaped, told reporters that the incident happened around 2pm on Thursday.
He said the attackers wielded AK -47 rifles and shot sporadically into the air before abducting the farmers and burning the two tractors on a large farm land.
The farmer said 13 family members were among the 22 abducted victims.
He gave their names 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.
On how he managed to escape, he said: “It was only God that saved me as I managed to escape when the bandits were shooting into the air.”
The District Head of Gurdi Chiefdom, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, lamented to reporters bandits usually invade his chiefdom through Niger State.
He said he had reported the latest kidnap incident to the police and authorities of Abaji area council.