Gunmen Abduct 18 Traders In Niger state

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The Police in Niger state have launched an investigation into the abduction of at least 18 traders who were taken away by unknown gunmen while travelling from Pandogari to Bassa in the Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

The traders were said to be travelling to attend the village market, which holds fortnightly, on Saturday.

A trader, who narrowly escaped the abduction, narrated how the incident happened in Minna on Tuesday.

The trader, who pleaded anonymity, said his colleagues were travelling in an 18-seater bus when they ran into a roadblock mounted by the hoodlums.

According to him, the gunmen shot randomly into the air to scare the driver and force him to stop.

As soon as the vehicle carrying the traders stopped, the occupants of the bus were forced at gunpoint to abandon the bus and join another bus which was driven into the bush.

The eyewitness claimed that the driver of the vehicle he was travelling in had to stop a short distance away from the scene from where he watched the incident unfold.

“This incident has now become a regular issue and no one is doing anything about it,” he added

It was gathered that the gunmen collected the mobile telephones of their victims and had been using the same to call the victims’ family members to demand ransom for the release of the captives.

The kidnappers were said to be demanding amounts ranging from N200,000 to N500,000 for the release of each of the traders.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State Police X-squad, Mohammad Abubakar, said, “We have heard of the incident just as you heard about it, but we have yet to receive an official report. We are investigating the matter; we will get back to you when we get an official report.”

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