Some residents of Kubwa, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, expressed fears over kidnappings.
A cross-section of people, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the issue was becoming worrisome.
A civil servant, Mr Fidelis Nwanchukwu, said Abuja was no longer safe as everybody now lived in fear.
“At home, one is unsafe. To board commercial vehicles, one has to be very careful because you do not know who is who.
“Besides kidnappers disguising as commercial drivers, the issue of one-chance robbers is nothing to write home about,” he said.
He called on the security agencies to step up efforts on surveillance and intelligence gathering in order to checkmate the increasing rate of insecurity in the nation’s capital.
James Olaide, a private school teacher who resides in Kuje, a suburb in the FCT, said due to the cases of kidnapping in his area, there was a time he thought of leaving Abuja for his hometown in Ogun with his family.
“But is my state too free from this criminal act?
“Day in, day out, these criminals are becoming more daring. This is not the time for blame game; all hands must be on deck to tackle this menace,” Olaide urged.
A spare part seller in Kubwa, Charles Okafor, who said media report about kidnapping cases in Abuja was disturbing, added that there were other unreported cases.ADVERTISEMENT
“My advice is everybody should be security conscious. When you see something, say something. Let’s share information, especially with security agencies.
“Everybody is struggling to make ends meet but some people are out there looking for who to kidnap, who to rob and even kill to make a living,” he said.
For Mrs Aisha Hassan, a businesswoman, “the situation is getting out of control.”
She said: “O I am no longer having rest of mind any time I take my children to school.
“I live in Kubwa and my children’s school is along Arab Road. Even though I take them to school and bring them back every day, I am always anxious about their safety with all that is happening in Abuja now.”
She said some schools in the FCT had adjusted their time to ensure that students close early as a result of the prevailing security challenge.
Aisha urged parents to always keep a close watch on their children to avoid being lured by strangers.
On Feb. 3, gunmen abducted a journalist at his house in the Arab Road Area of Kubwa, Abuja. The kidnappers also attacked his neighbours and went away with the two sons of a widow.
Also on Feb. 26, a five-man gang kidnapped a man and his brother-in-law at Gbazango Extension also in Kubwa. The armed men shot three vigilante members, who attempted to foil the operation.
Again, on March 24, an armed group abducted four persons in Kiyi Village, Kuje, whisking away the four residents to an unknown destination.
On April 1, gunmen abducted a resident of the Pegi Community in Kuje Area Council. The victim was returning from work when he was kidnapped.
Although many of these victims had regained their freedom, the latest in the kidnapping case was the one that took place at Byazhin in Kubwa on May 21. Two residents of the area were abducted and the kidnappers demanded for a N10 million ransom each before reducing it to N1 million for each abductee.
After spending five days in kidnappers’ den, the Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, Mariam Yusuf, confirmed the development to NAN, saying the personnel had launched a strategic operation to rescue the victims unhurt and trail the suspects.(NAN)