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Abuja-Kaduna Highway on Lockdown, Over 30 People Kidnapped

Abuja-Kaduna Highway on Lockdown, Over 30 People Kidnapped

Over 30 people were reportedly kidnapped on Sunday by terrorists. The abduction took place at Dogon-Fili near Katari, along the Kaduna- Abuja highway in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This is following the outcry protest of January 6 over insecurities and the increasing rate of kidnappings along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, yet the security measures of Abuja and Kaduna highway were breached by the group armed with Ak-47s as commuters fear death.

With over 30 people abducted and one shot dead, the terrorists reportedly split into groups as they extended their captivity towards Bishini and Kokore communities, abducting several more villagers as hostages for possible ransom negotiation.

While the Tinubu-led administration promises to complete the underfunded road project of the highway, criminals have taken to acts of terror against the freedom of movement of the road users for ransom.

The Soldiers near Katari, though, stood to be a resistance, warding off the militia group abductors. Yet they went away with over 30 hostages.

The Abuja-Kaduna expressway is notoriously reputable for kidnapping and banditry. In August 2019, commercial drivers blocked the road after a colleague was killed for refusing a bribe to a police officer.  To avert the danger of travelling that route by road, many travellers resort to the railway service, which, until 2022, was a safe option.

Many Nigerians will recall the death of Dr. Chinelo Megafu, who made rounds on the internet for tweeting about being shot along the Abuja-Kaduna rail track. In an X post (formerly Twitter) on 28 March 2022, the young doctor cried out: “I’m in the train, I have been shot. Please pray for me.”

The said train was hijacked by armed bandits who ambushed the train, shot sporadically, abducted 168 or more passengers, and killed eight others. The death toll included prominent figures like youth leader Amin Mahmoud, lawyer Tibile Mosugu, TUC secretary-general Barrister Musa Lawal-Ozigi, and doctor Chinelo Megafu.

Despite pledges to strengthen security, the Abuja-Kaduna route is still a traveller’s nightmare.

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