At least one person has been reported killed with several others injured by unknown gunmen in Taraba state.
Confirming the incident to channels television via a telephone interview, the caretaker committee chairman of Wukari local government, Daniel Grace, said the incident happened at about 7:00 PM Saturday, in Chedia, between Bantaje and Mahanga in Wukari LGA.
Daniel adds that ten other travelers were kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination with all passengers and the driver’s phone carted away.
Also speaking, one of the drivers Yunana Baba who had four of his passengers abducted revealed that he saw two vehicles ( 18 sitter Toyota buses, hummer one) packed by the roadside, he attempted to find out what the problem was, only to be pointed a gun by a masked individual in military camouflage and asked to pack.
” I know that spot to be an army checkpoint, so, when I was approaching, I saw two buses exactly as mine, packed.”
” All of a sudden a masked individual in military camouflage came towards me, asked me to pack or else he will shoot. ”
” I obeyed, packed, and was asked to lie on the ground just like my passengers and they started asking for our phones, money and other valuables ”
” A military personnel was in my vehicle, they searched the luggage I was carrying and found his uniform, asked about the owner, but I told them that it was a waybill given to me to be taken to Jalingo the Taraba state capital. ”
” Shortly after, they used their flashlights on us and picked four of my passengers on motorbikes to an unknown destination ”
” They also picked six others from the other two buses ”
” I’m shattered and wondering why they could do so despite collecting our phones and money ”
” We had to drive down to the Owoniyi main motor park here in Jalingo to rest ”
Baba adds that after the whole incident, they approached the nearest police outpost at Chedia to table their complaints, but met no one on seat, which prompted them to move to Jalingo which he said was safer for him and his remaining passengers.
The police public relations officer in Taraba, David Misal however confirmed the incident to channels television via a telephone interview, insisting that efforts are in top gear to rescue the victims, as they have engaged sister security agencies, vigilante group as well as youths of the area.
He says the report before him by the divisional police officer of Wukari indicates that” men of the underworld blocked some travelers heading to the eastern part of Nigeria from Adamawa state, opened fire on them and in the process killed one passenger, with others sustaining various degree of injuries”
” The second vehicle approached and the driver obediently stopped and they were all robbed ”
”The same thing happened to the third vehicle ”
He noted that the injured have been taken to a hospital for medical attention.
” For now, I can tell you that we are combing the area to make sure that we rescue them unhurt ”
” This is barbaric, inhuman and an act of wickedness, the police will not allow such to continue in the state, we are calling on anyone with useful information to come forward in assisting us to nip this nefarious act in the bud ”
The incident is the first of its kind in terms of the killing of a passenger on the highway and the second in terms of kidnappings in Taraba.