More than 50 wedding guests have been abducted by gunmen suspected to be bandits following an attack on vehicles along the Sokoto-Gusau road.
According to Premium Times, the gunmen attacked the victims on Saturday evening when they were returning from a wedding in Tambuwal, Sokoto state.
The gunmen were said to have attacked a coaster bus and one other vehicle conveying the wedding guests as well as two private vehicles.
Some of the wedding guests, who managed to escape, said that the bandits shot into the first vehicle they were travelling in around 6 p.m.
Lawal Ja’o, one of those who escaped, told the publication that they were attacked just before reaching Dogon Awo in Tureta Local Government Area.
Mr Ja’o said he does not know how many people were abducted from the two vehicles but those taken in the two buses were more than 45.
He said when the bandits started shooting, he and some of his friends ran into the bush on the other side of the road.
“We started hearing the sounds of gunshots before the first vehicle was hit”, adding that over 50 people were whisked away,” Premium Times quoted Ja’o as saying.
“We kept hearing the voices and screams of our colleagues and friends but there was nothing we could do. After we heard the arrival of security men, we came out of the bush and identified ourselves.”
A student of Shehu Shagari University of Education, Sokoto, Jabiru Shehu, who was going to Talata Mafara from Sokoto, said their vehicle escaped “miraculously”
“We met four empty vehicles with some belongings including a phone and some travelling bags. We were there when some policemen from Tureta arrived at the scene.
“From what I heard, they were more than 50 people with the bandits because we were there also when some of the travellers who ran into the bush returned to the main road,” Mr Shehu said.
It was gathered from other sources that some of the abducted passengers sell phones and phone accessories at Bebeji Plaza Communication Market (GSM village) in Gusau
“As of now, we are looking for over 45 of our people because some of them have communicated to us this morning (Sunday) that they ran into the bush,” Sharhabilu Moba, a member of the Bebeji Plaza committee told Premium Times over the phone.
Bashir Muhammad, whose two brothers escaped the attack, said they and three others have returned home.
He said, “All my brothers and their friends have returned but one of them was shot in the leg. He is at the hospital receiving treatment. We thank God as we keep waiting for the whereabouts of the others.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Sokoto, Sanusi Abubakar said the command is yet to receive information on the abductions.
KanyiDaily had also reported how 32 people were killed by bandits who used an helicopter to attack four communities within Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.