Fanen Ihyongo, Kano
Controversy raged on Thursday over reports of abduction of 27 traders on the Kaduna-Abuja expressway.
An online platform reported 27 traders travelling from the north were kidnapped along the Kaduna-Abuja Road with 17 of the victims said to be from Kano state.
The reports added the kidnappers were demanding N27 million ransom for release of the 17 Kano traders.
The ￼President, Arewa Youth Traders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Kabiru Babao, said the kidnapped traders were from Kantin Kwari area of Kano.
He said the kidnappers initially demanded N50 million ransom but later negotiated for N27 million after establishing communication with the victims’ families.
“The young traders were on their way to Aba, Abia state on Sunday night when kidnappers shot the tyre of their luxury bus and abducted them after the bus was forced to stop,” he said, adding the abductees were yet to regain freedom.
But the Kaduna state police command denied the reports.
The Kano state government did not react to the reports.
A statement by Kaduna state police spokesman, Mohammad Jalige, on Thursday said: “The attention of the Kaduna State Police command has been drawn to an online news publication titled “Gunmen abduct 27 Traders on Kaduna-Abuja expressway.
“The Command wishes to inform the general public that it has no report of kidnapping incident along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway as reported.
“The writer in his or her wildest imagination refused to give the chronicle of the incident, this gives the Command enough reason to believe that he or she is up to something in his or her bid to avoid scrutiny, mislead the public and create apprehension in the minds of commuters plying the route.
“The Kaduna Police Command will not shy away from acknowledging the challenges of security along the Kaduna-Abuja road, but it is not leaving any stone unturned in its bid to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens and road users which the results is there for all to see,” the statement said.
Jalige, an ASP, called on the general public to disregard the news of abduction of 27 traders in its entirety.
Kaduna Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, also refuted reports of abduction of 27 traders on the Kaduna-Abuja high way.
“The federal security agencies operating on the Kaduna-Abuja Road, as at this time, have not reported any such incident.
“Furthermore, from all checks conducted so far by the Kaduna State Government, the alleged kidnapping occurred elsewhere in another state,” Aruwan said.