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Crime

Three vigilantes killed while attempting to foil abduction of district head

The abducted traditional ruler was earlier kidnapped in December and freed after the payment of ransom.

Three members of a vigilante group were on Sunday killed in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State while trying to unsuccessfully foil the abduction of a district head.

Residents said the gunmen on motorbikes stormed Madaka community in Rafi around 12 noon and abducted its district head, Zakari Ya’u-Idris.

They killed the vigilantes who attempted to stop them.

Muhammadu Husseini, the chairman, Niger State Bureau of Statistics Board, told THE NATIONS EXPRESS that the abducted traditional ruler was earlier kidnapped in December 2019 and freed after the payment of N4 million ransom.

Mr Husseini said the latest incident happened while the traditional ruler was checking on his family after he heard of the new invaders. He was attacked in the process and abducted.

Mr Hussein, who is also the former chairman, Rafi Local Government Area, said the district head of Yakila was also abducted last week Thursday and is still in captivity.

He said the gunmen abducted Abdulhamid Danyaro around 3 a.m. at his palace in Yakila in the same council area.

“The bandits requested a ransom and N3 million was raised. They (bandits) collected the amount and seized the phones and motorcycles of those delivering ransom and chased them away without giving them the captive,” he said.

The official said bandits “are targeting traditional rulers and vigilante members because of their commitment toward ensuring peace in their respective communities”.

“The establishment of a military formation in the eastern part of Kagara, the headquarters of Rafi Local Government and Tegina will aid the quick response of security officials to forestall attacks by the gunmen,” Mr Husseini said.

Wasiu Abiodun, the police spokesperson in Niger State, did not responds to calls and text messages from THE NATIONS EXPRESS requesting official comments.

Many parts of the nation, especially the north, have been wracked by cases of abductions for ransom and other crimes.

About 344 secondary school students kidnapped by bandits in Katsina State were released on Friday.

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