Bandits have abducted no fewer than 50 wedding guests travelling along the Sokoto-Zamfara Road but some of the victims managed to escape.
The victims, said to include telephone marketers at the popular Bebeji Plaza in Gusau, were returning to Gusau from the wedding of their colleague in Sokoto State when the incident happened around 6 pm on Saturday.
The victims were travelling in a Toyota Coaster bus belonging to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a Gusau Local Government Secretariat staff vehicle and two other private vehicles, Channels TV reports.
Ashiru Zurmi, Secretary of Union of Communication, Zamfara State, told journalists in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, on Sunday that one of the vehicles developed a fault in Tureta area in Sokoto and it took about 40 minutes to get it fixed. According to Zurmi, the kidnappers waylaid the travellers shortly after they resumed their journey.
He, however, noted that more than 20 persons out of the about 50 travellers initially abducted later managed to escape,
Some of them sustained varying degrees of injury, he added.
Zurmi said, “It happened that their motor developed fault (sic) at Tureta and they got a mechanic. For about 40 minutes, he assisted them and got the motor repaired. They started coming to Zamfara but within the Tureta and Bakura axis, the kidnappers ambushed them; over 50 people were abducted but Alhamdulilah over 20 people escaped.”
That leaves about 30 of the travellers in captivity.
According to Zurmi, the abductors have already contacted the members of their union to confirm that they have held their members captive.
“We have identified 30 members that are still in captivity, luckily today they used phones of those captives (about five of our members) to call us; they only notified us that they are with them,” he said.
He, however, added that no ransom had been demanded yet by the kidnappers.
But he suspected that informants might have given the kidnappers information about their movement.
“Definitely something like that happened; we have that in our minds that there was an informant that gave the information to the bandits to attack them because it was just only them.
“Other passenger cars were passing but they did not care about them, they only concentrated on the coaster bus that has Zamfara Government number,” he said.
Zurmi appealed to relevant authorities to secure the release of the members of the union, giving them a 48-hour ultimatum to do that.