JUST IN: Tension as gunmen kidnap monarch, wives, children in Taraba

Armed men suspected to be kidnappers have again kidnapped a traditional ruler in Taraba State.

The traditional ruler, Sani Suleiman Duna, was kidnapped around 1 am on Friday, January 20, 2023, alongside his two wives and six children.

The gunmen were said to have taken over the monarch’s palace after they had successfully scared the community’s residents with sporadic gunshots.

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A palace guard, who craved anonymity, confirmed the incident to our correspondent.

Aligning his weight to that of the palace guard, a resident of the community who gave his name as Usmanu said, “our sleep was disrupted by the gunshots that were being fired in the air by the hoodlums who invaded our community.”

He also pleaded with both the state and federal governments to fashion out ways that would permanently put to rest the security situation bedevilling the local government and the state at large.

At the time of filing this report, the kidnappers had not reached out to the family to demand ransom.

Also confirming the abduction of the monarch and his family members, the state command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Usman Abdullahi, said, “the traditional ruler and his two wives as well as his six children, were all abducted this morning in Mutum-Biyu by unknown gunmen.”

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The command, he vowed, would leave no stone unturned in rescuing the monarch and his entire family members that were kidnapped.

In a related development, gunmen have killed a family of five and three other people in Abagana village opposite the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp along Makurdi Lafia road in Benue State.

Locals said the armed invaders attacked the Abagana villagers at about 9pm on Monday and unleashed terror on the inhabitants.

Special Adviser to the Benue Governor on Media and ICT, Terver Akase, said security reports indicated that eight corpses, including those of a man, his wife and four children, had been recovered.

Hemba said, “So far,  eight corpses including women and children have been recovered and eight others seriously injured were evacuated to a hospital for treatment.

“Some of the bodies were beheaded and the heads taken away. The bushes are still being combed for more victims.

“A man with his wife and four children were all wiped out in the attack. The casualty figure may likely rise as three other persons were fatally shot and may not survive the injuries in the chest.”

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident but said details were not yet available to her.

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