Kachia, Nigeria – A terrifying wave of violence has gripped Nigeria’s Kaduna-Abuja Expressway, leaving scores of travelers abducted and residents pleading for increased security. The Punch newspaper reports that at least 85 people, including both travelers and locals, were kidnapped by armed militants near Katari village in the Kachia Local Government Area.
The attacks began on Thursday, January 5th, and continued through Sunday, January 7th. While the Kaduna State Police Command confirms a bandit attack on the expressway, they remain silent on the large-scale abductions. Local sources, however, paint a harrowing picture of widespread terror.
“Bandits blocked the entire Kaduna-Abuja highways around the Katari axis,” recounted Chief Imam Suleiman Mohammed of the Katari Central Mosque. “They took away several travellers, in the range of 30, according to eyewitnesses.”
The attackers, described as “foreigners speaking Fulani,” targeted not only the highway but also surrounding villages. At Dudumishini village, at least 30 residents were abducted, with another 25 currently held captive. Kwakware village suffered a similar fate, with 35 residents taken and 30 remaining in the hands of the militants.
District Head Yohana Sarki paints a bleak picture of daily attacks despite the presence of military forces. “The villages under my domain are being attacked every day,” he told The PUNCH. “The government is trying, but they need to deploy more security operatives.”
Sarki’s plea echoes the desperation felt by many in the region. The once-vital highway, now a conduit for violence, has left residents terrified and travelers wary. The Punch reports that the police are calling on the public to report any suspicious individuals with gunshot wounds, suggesting the attackers may have sustained injuries during their rampage.
This brazen display of violence, targeting both travelers and locals, underscores the growing security concerns in parts of Nigeria. The international community watches with concern as the situation unfolds, hoping for a swift response from authorities and a return to safety for the abducted and terrorized communities.