Gunmen place N16m ransom on DPO, 5 others in Niger

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By Aideloje Ojo, Minna, Oyibo Salihu, Lokoja and Muhammad Tanko Shittu,
Jos

Barely three weeks after an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Agene was abducted while travelling with his family along Birnin Gwari road, Kaduna state, gunmen again struck yesterday as they kidnapped the Divisional Police Officer of Munya local government area of Niger state, a Superintendent of Police Amos Aliyu, his orderly and some others.
A family source said the kidnappers were already asking for N16 million ransom before they could be released.
This occurred as another set of hoodlums also abducted a student of Kogi state Polytechnic, Lokoja, and tied a N10million price to her release.
And concurrently, some 29 villagers were reportedly killed in the early hours of yesterday in Irigwe chiefdom, Bassa local government area of Plateau state.
On the kidnapped DPO, sources told one of our reporters that the incident occurred between 6pm and 6:30 pm on Sunday around his residence at Tudun Fulani area in Bosso local government area of Niger state.
Aliyu, who has a Peugeot 406 car painted in pink colour, was sighted outside his compound discussing with someone believed to be his friend in a relaxed atmosphere.
It was further learnt that when one of his neighbours saw him and asked after his wife, he said she was yet to return from the Sunday Church service.
An insider source informed Blueprint yesterday that the abducted DPO usually who comes from his station in Serkin Pawa to Minna to visit his family every fortnight, was seen a few minutes past 005hrs on Sunday evening .
The source, who craved anonymity, said prior to his recent transfer to Serki Pawa Division of the state Police Command, he had served in various capacities as Deputy Commandant, Police Training School Minna, and Divisional Crime Officer, Kuta Division in Shiroro.
His police orderly (name unknown) was also “taken along with him by the abductors,” the source added.
His wife (names withheld) was also said to have left home in the early hours of yesterday in search of her husband, but that the kidnappers linked up and placed a ransom on him later in the day.
“In fact, the DPO stays in Tudun Fulani area of Bosso local government area of the state. He was seen in the evening on Sunday at about the time the Muslims were going to say their prayers in the mosque,” the source said.
Blueprint further gathered that a team of police detectives were at the rented apartment of the kidnapped DPO.

Abducted Poly student
In a related development, a female student of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Miss Adebanjo Adetutu, was also reportedly kidnapped by yet-to-be identified hoodlums.
Adetutu, who is a Higher National Diploma II student in the Department of Office Technology Management (OTM), was kidnapped along Itakpe – Eika- Kuroko road in Okehi local government area of the state, on her way to Ogun state where she hails from, after her first semester exams.
Her abduction is coming barely two days after three chieftains of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), Kogi state chapter, were kidnapped on Idah road in the eastern flank of the state.
A statement issued by the Director of Student Affairs, National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS), Comrade Salihu Lukman, in Lokoja yesterday, said the abductors had earlier demanded for N10 million and later reduced their ransom to N500, 000 to effect her release.
The statement read in part: “Right now, negotiations are still on-going. Today makes it the 4th day the female student was kidnapped and her mother who is a widow cannot afford the ransom.
“We are pleading with the government, security agents in the state and the general public to come to the aid of this poor child so that she can regain her freedom.”
Lukman said the state police command had been informed about the incident, and that the Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga, promised to secure Adetutu’s release “within the shortest time possible.”

Plateau killings
Similarly, some 29 persons were reportedly killed following another round of attack on a Plateau village, in Bassa Local Government Area.
The attack, according to sources, was carried out inside a primary school at Nkiedonwhro village, a suburb of the state.
Though the community accused the Fulani herdsmen of carrying out the heinous act, the herders however denied, even as they alleged that Irigwe community killed and beheaded 6 of their children.

Police confirm attack
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Tyopev Terna, confirmed the attack, but could not give casualty figures.
“The Commissioner of Police has gone to the place, and we can only address the press when he is back,” he told Blueprint.
The police image maker said he was not aware of the casualty figure being bandied around by the media, saying “I don’t know where they got it.”

Irigwe raises concerns
Meanwhile, the Irigwe community has raised concerns over the spate of killings, claiming 29 persons were killed in yesterday’s attack.
Their spokesman, Hon. Sunday Abdu, at a press conference, said it is laughable that no Fulani herdsmen was arrested, “despite the discovery of a handset,” of a suspect who left it after being pursued by security personnel.
Abdu said government must stop the killings in order to avert a dangerous humanitarian situation.
Asked whether it was a reprisal, Abdu said he wouldn’t know.

‘Herders’ children beheaded’
Denying having a hand in the killings, chairman of the local government chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Umar Sangare, said, “our six children were on Sunday afternoon attacked, killed and beheaded by the Irigwe community at Baju village.”
He said they had reported the incidence to the Sector 6 Commander of the Operation Safe Haven as well as the DPO in charge of Bassa, who escorted them to bury the dead bodies.
According to him, 236 cattle and sheep were rustled, while 45 of the animals were killed in the process.

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