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UPDATED: UBEC board chairman, daughter, others kidnapped along Abuja-Kaduna expressway

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The chairman of the Governing Board of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Mohammed Abubakar, is among the dozens of people kidnapped Monday along Abuja-Kaduna expressway.

Family source confirmed the abduction to DAILY NIGERIAN, saying Mr Abubakar was kidnapped alongside his daughter, Yasmin, while traveling to Abuja.

DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that Miss Abubakar, who is American citizen, recently returned to Nigeria in preparation for her wedding ceremony in June.

It was gathered that his driver was shot dead on the spot as the assailants shot sporadically at moving vehicles.

“It is true he was kidnapped today alongside his daughter. They shot his driver on the spot,” the source who preferred not to be named said.

UBEC chairman, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar
UBEC chairman, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar

A witness, Mohammed Dambatta, who escaped the attack told DAILY NIGERIAN that the attack occurred at 3pm at Kurmin Kare in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

According to him, the kidnappers opened fire sporadically on Abuja-bound travellers, forcing at least 15 vehicles to stop and successfully shepherded the occupants into the bush.

“I counted about 15 vehicles without occupants, including a police van, a Kano Line bus and a jeep. The driver of the jeep was apparently shot. Some of those who emerged from the bush after the attack suffered gunshot wounds,” he said.

Although police did not officially speak on the incident, local sources said at least 10 people lost their lives in the attack.

On Sunday, the Nigeria Police Force said it had arrested Abubakar Ibrahim, 37, the suspected killer of late traditional ruler of Adara chiefdom, Maiwada Galadima of Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna state and 17 other suspected kidnappers/armed robbers.

The late Mr Galadima was abducted and murdered by his abductors in October 2018, after being held captive for days.

Other suspects arrested in the recent raid are: Johnson Okafor, 44, Shaibu Iliyasu, 20, Ishaik Dabo,38, Mohammed Nasiru, 25, Aminu Haruna, 25, Shafiu Gudau, 25, Auwalu Hamisu, 24, Ado Ya’u, 35, Ibrahim Yusuf, 30, Ibrahim Audu, 22, Salisu Ajah, 50, Magaji Abubakar, 27, Salisu Ali, 18, among others.

A statement by the force spokesperson, Frank Mba, on Sunday in Abuja, said Mr Ibrahim was arrested on April 15 at Rigachikun in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State.

He said the suspect confessed to the kidnapping and murder of the traditional ruler of Adara and other kidnappings and murders.

Mr Mba, a deputy commissioner of police, said the arrest of other suspects followed the arrest of the “Spiritual Father” of kidnappers and armed bandits operating in the Northern part of the country, Salisu Abubakar.

He said items recovered from the suspects were: 22 AK 47 rifles, five locally fabricated pistols and a cache of live ammunition.

He said the combined team of the Intelligence Response Team, IRT and Tactical Intelligence Unit, TIU of the police arrested the suspects at different locations and times in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Kogi states.

He said the suspects have been into some of the most heinous crimes committed in Kaduna State and its environs in recent times.

The spokesman said the arrested gang members were also linked to kidnapping and murder of Yakubu Usman, 40, of Jere Local Government Area of Kaduna State and many other crimes.

He said the suspects were currently in custody, assisting the ongoing investigations.

Mr Mba said the suspects belong to different criminal gangs but their operations were centrally coordinated by their spiritual godfather.

He said efforts were currently being intensified to arrest other gang members still at large, and recover all weapons in the gangs’ armory.

Mr Mba quoted the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, as re-assuring that the police would not rest on its oars until kidnapping and other crimes were subdued.

Mr Adamu on April 5 inaugurated “Operation Puff Adder” to fight insecurity along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.

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