A Daily Trust driver conveying Daily Trust titles from Kano Press to Katsina state, Malam Yahaya Abdul on Monday narrowly escaped kidnap along Kano-Katsina highway.
Narrating his ordeal, Abdul said he was traveling to Katsina to convey the newspapers when some armed men, who erected an illegal checkpoint shortly after Gidan Mutum Daya along Kano-Katsina road through Bichi local government stopped him.
He said, “The gunmen about 15 in number wearing army and police uniforms stopped me. They asked for money and I told them that I don’t have money. One of them hit me with butt of his gun. He warned that if I think it is a toy gun then I am deceiving myself. He flashed his touch on the gun for me to see that it is a real gun.”
“He demanded for money and I insisted that I don’t have. They collected the only N7,800 in my possession and my phone. One of them insisted that they should go with me since I will not give them money. I told them that I was only carrying newspapers. It is at this point that one of them suggested that the newspapers be removed and a search be conducted on the car.”
Abdul added that after they searched his car without getting money or any valuable, one of the gunmen insisted that they should take him to their place until ransom is paid.
He said that one of the gunmen, therefore collected the key of his car and parked it beside the road, while others were trying to go with him.
“It was at this point that their leader intervened. He asked me whether the car belongs to me or I was working for someone and I told him that I am a commercial driver. He demanded for the money that I was paid to carry the newspapers to Katsina and I told him that I was only given N5,000 as advance payment and I have already bought fuel with the money.”
“He again asked me whether I was from Katsina or Kano states and I told them I was neither from Katsina nor from Kano state. Rather, I was from a remote village in Sokoto state. Having heard my answers, the leader of the gang ordered his boys to release me for being sincere to them,” he said.
Abdul, who spent almost 30 minutes with the gunmen before he was finally released to continue the journey, noted that “each of the gunmen was holding a gun and cutlass. Some of them wore police uniform, other army uniform and some were wearing normal cloth. But all of them covered their faces with mask and they are fluent in speaking Fulani and Hausa languages.
“To be honest with you, I had given up, I never thought I will be freed by these gunmen. It is God that saved me from these devils. I was traumatized and I have never encountered this kind of experience in life.”