Abuja residents fearful as gunmen kidnap 29 people including children from a suburb in the Nigeria capital Abuja as handover date approaches
Nigerian Police detectives are investigating the abduction this week of at least 29 people from a village in federal capital territory, Abuja. Officials say gunmen raided Yewuti village, taking victims on foot into the bush, including children.
The attack has raised concerns about Nigeria’s worsening insecurity just ahead of next month’s swearing-in of a new president on May 29.
Abuja police public relations officer Josephine Adeh said officials are looking into the matter and would make their findings public soon.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the abductions. “You know abduction is a very sensitive issue,” Adeh told media. “We’re on it. … Whatever we’re doing we can’t put it out there because of the sensitivity of the issue.”
Abuja has maintained relative peace for years despite Nigeria struggling to stem a range of insecurity problems, especially in the central, northwestern and northeastern regions.
But since last year, the capital has been reporting incidents more often. Last month, gunmen invaded an Abuja estate and kidnapped nine people.
But a local council head in Kwali where the village is located said the gunmen invaded after midnight Tuesday and shot sporadically before herding residents, including children, into the nearby bush on foot.
The attack has raised concerns of growing insecurity in the Nigerian capital nearly one year after the terror group Islamic State West Africa Province, or ISWAP, claimed responsibility for a jail break that freed hundreds of inmates, including high profile terrorism suspects held at a medium security facility in Abuja.
Insecurity was a major topic at the February polls in which Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) was declared winner.
In 2015, outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari promised to address insecurity if elected president.
After years of being widely criticised for security failures, Buhari last week said, “Those that think that I have hurt them so much, please pardon me.”
Akowe with reports from Abuja
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