Bandits have reportedly kidnapped at least 50 wedding guests along the Sokoto-Zamfara Highway.
According to reports, most of the wedding guests are Telephone Marketers from the popular Bebeji Plaza in Gusau.
They were said to be driving back to Gusau after attending a wedding of a colleague in Sokoto State when the incident occurred around 6 p.m. on Saturday on the Tureta-Bakura road.
The vehicles transporting the wedding guests include a Toyota coaster bus from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a Gusau Local Government Secretariat employee vehicle, and two other private vehicles.
Ashiru Zurmi, the Secretary of the Zamfara State Union of Communication, told journalists in Gusau on Sunday that one of the vehicles transporting the guests had initially developed a fault near Tureta, Sokoto state, and it was subsequently fixed by an automobile mechanic after about 40 minutes.
He claimed that the bandits ambushed the vehicles after the mechanic had finished repairing it on the Tureta-Bakura road, abducting over 50 people.
More than 20 people managed to flee afterwards, according to Zurmi, albeit some of them escaped with various degrees of injuries.
“It happened that their motor developed fault at Tureta and they got a mechanic; for about 40 minutes, he assisted them and got the motor repaired; they started coming to Zamfara but within the Tureta and Bakura axis, the kidnappers ambushed them; over 50 people were abducted but Alhamdulilah over 20 people escaped,” Zurmi said.
He confirmed that 30 members are being held captive, and that the kidnappers had phoned their Union members to confirm that they are with them.
“We have identified thirty members that are still in captive, luckily today they used phones of those captives (about five of our members) to call us; they only notified us that they are with them.”
The Secretary of the Union also suspected the involvement of informants, who he claimed could have alerted the kidnappers about their whereabouts.
“Definitely something like that happened; we believe there was an informant who provided the bandits the knowledge to attack them because it was just them; other passenger cars passed by but they were unconcerned about them; they only focused on the coaster bus with the Zamfara Government number.”
Zurmi pleaded for the appropriate authorities to intervene immediately and ensure the abductees’ safe return.
He also gave security services and government officials a 48-hour deadline to ensure the abductees’ release.