Villagers from various villages in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State have confirmed the abduction of 20 of their men.
Safana LGA is in the town of Safana and the council area consists of about 19 communities.
About 27 residents of these communities were returning from a wedding ceremony in Kankara late afternoon on December 19, to their separate villages when they were attacked by gunmen in the outskirts of the town, (the bushy part between Safana and Illelah).
The gunmen, who opened fire forcing them to stop, demanded valuables like cell phones and money, which the common villagers did not have.
Unable to provide this, the gunmen abducted twenty-three of the men and took them to a forest named rogo-rogo, while the four women in the group were allowed to go.
Out of the 23 men that were abducted, two escaped and one was hit by a bullet in the arm during the attack, with fear of being a burden in case he doesn’t make it, the gunmen freed him and gave him a description of how to get to the highway.
He is currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, where he was operated on and two bullets removed from his arm
They have since called the villages to demand a ransom of N50 million, which was later reduced to N40 million.
About three days ago, an elder in the community called one of the men that was abducted (Surajh). He was the driver of one of the two cars. Mr Surajh pleaded with the elder to help them so they can be released, as they are adversely affected by the severe weather and hunger.
The residents called for a meeting, with the sole aim of taxing themselves in order to raise something, even though they complained of not being financially buoyant, as they are ordinary villagers.
The police spokesperson in the state, Gambo Isa, after several telephone calls with PREMIUM TIMES insisted that after checking their data, they are not aware of the incident.
Although one of the men from the community who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES (name withheld) said the case was reported immediately and he is positive the commissioner is aware.
Correspondingly, in a publication by Daily Trust on January 3, the governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, lamented that the state is under siege and no one is safe, including him.
He also confirmed this incident amongst others that have happened lately, in the state.