June 25, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Abuja sisters’ kidnap: Naheeba Al-Kadriyar, her uncle, 3 cops killed to save 5 others

Nabeeha, pictured second from left in photo below, was killed by the kidnappers

ABUJA erupted in cautious sadness-and-joy jubilation Sunday. Police say they have successfully rescued five sisters who were held hostage after being kidnapped in the country’s capital.
The girls were freed in a joint police-army operation in a forest in Kaduna State on Saturday night.
They were taken from their home in Abuja earlier this month, along with another sister who was later killed.
The kidnappers had demanded a ransom for their release, but the police made no mention of one being paid, Sunday in Abuja.
Police simply says the girls had been reunited with their family following the operation, which took place near the Kajuru forest in Kaduna State at around 23:30 local time (22:30 GMT) on Saturday.
The six sisters, aged from the early teens to 23, were taken hostage alongside their father, Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, on January 2, 2024 at the family home in Bwari, a suburb of Abuja.
Witnesses said the girls’ uncle ran to find help but was ambushed and killed, as were three police officers.
The kidnappers released Mansoor on the condition he raise a large ransom, but his 21-year-old daughter, Nabeeha, a final-year university student, was then killed as a warning, according to a family member who does not want to be named.
Kidnapping has become rife in Nigeria, with hundreds of people abducted on a daily basis, in recent years, largely by criminal gangs who see it as an easy way to make money. It has been particularly bad in the north-west of the country.
The case of the Al-Kadriyar sisters had prompted widespread anger in the country, with many arguing that the kidnapping emergency has continued despite government promises to bring it to an end.
First Lady Remi Tinubu urged security agencies to “intensify their efforts” to end the kidnapping scourge and security crisis, and demanded a “swift return of the Al-Kadriyar sisters.”
Ransom for the girls’ return was set at N65mn ($68,000 or £53,000), leading to many Nigerians donating to a crowdfunding initiative.
However, Defence Minister Mohammed Badaru Abubakar urges people not to contribute towards ransom demands, saying it would “only worsen the situation.
“We believe we have to stop – as painful as it is. We have to stop responding to payment of ransom. If we stop, over time the kidnapping will not be profitable and they will stop,” he says.
Hope of respite for the girls first emerged last week when Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike confirmed arrests had been made of some persons in connection with feeding bandits with information in the area.
Wike had disclosed this during a townhall meeting with the council chairman, traditional rulers, security operatives, and residents of Gwagwalada area council in Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Although he didn’t state the number of persons arrested or where the arrest was made, the minister had assured residents of the area not to panic as there will be improvement in the security situation in the FCT in the coming days.