Abduction: Unending Woes Of Paulosa Community In Suleja

Abduction: Unending Woes Of Paulosa Community In Suleja

Joel Ajayi

Becoming a homeowner is the aspiration of not a few individuals as it comes with fulfillment and a sense of social security. Besides, being a “Landlord” provides some level of privacy but for the residents of Paulosa, a community very close to Suleja, an ancient city in Niger State, the reverse is the case, as they live at the mercy of kidnappers even inside their houses even while sleeping.

It appears some villages in Suleja Local Government Area now sleep with their eyes wide open, given that bandits have adopted new tactics of abducting residents.

Bandits have truly murdered sleep for these residents over the fear of being kidnapped. It is also recorded that huge sums of money are paid by the families and community each time individuals are taken captive.

The abduction of innocent citizens orchestrated by armed bandits has surpassed scary levels.

The anguish that envelopes residents of Paulosa is at feverish pitch. The accompanying fear and psychological torture their families passed through over the kidnapping of their loved ones is better imagined than narrated.

No fewer than 10 residents have been kidnapped in the community since the beginning of 2021 with none set free without the payment of ransom.

However, the wicked activities of the gangsters, no doubt led to the collapse of the social, economic, and academic activities in Paulosa community where AljazirahNigeria reliably gathered the miscreants live.

Regrettably, the rampaging bandits, which had engulfed numerous villages and communities in the state, have allegedly become a booming business for the perpetrators.

In the space of three months, kidnappers had visited Paulosa community four times, taking children, adults and following same with demand for ransom from relatives of victims.

It was also gathered that out of all operations, no family or relative paid less than N500, 000 before victims were released.

In their comfort zone, while sleeping, the kidnappers operate in the night, pull down the entire windows and the doors by shattering it with bullets and force their way into a house and take away their victims.

AljazirahNigeria gathered that in some communities in the state, huge ransom is demanded by bandits on a monthly basis in order to stop the invasion of such communities.

This is the newest strategy of kidnapping in the country and if it’s as low as demanding less than a million naira none of us is safe.

Unfortunately, as a result of this, many landlords have turned tenants again, over the fear of being the next victim while others have sold off their properties.

It was a bad night for residents of Paulosa on the last day of the Month of February 2021 when a gang of bandits stormed the community to abduct four landlords while asleep.

AljazirahNigeria scooped that after series of injuries inflicted on victims, the total sum of two million naira was taken alongside N30,000 MTN recharge cards before they were released after four days in confinement.

AljazirahNigeria equally gathered that the negotiator and the people that took money to the bandits in their den were reportedly beaten black and blue for reasons best known to the kidnappers.

While narrating his ordeal in the hand of kidnappers, Mr Odunayo  Ajayi  said: “My last daughter was not feeling fine, and my wife and I took her to Suleja General Hospital for treatment around 8:PM on Saturday and a doctor told me that they will admit the baby and I was with them till 11:PM before heading home, with my  wife staying with our daughter.

“I was so tired, I just went straight to bed, but around 12:00 PM, I woke up to the firing of gunshots to my window and burglary and they were telling me, if you did not open the door, if they find their route in, it will lead to death, I have no option than to open the door and they tied up my legs.

“While they lied me down, I discovered they brought my 3 other neighbors and they led us to Tungamaje bush. On getting to the place, they tied our faces, which are all I know till morning.

“At daybreak, they tied us to the tree and about 10 boys were assigned to be watching over us when it was 8PM on Sunday night they untied us and we were trekking inside the bush, I guess they don’t want us to know their base, they took us to another bush near Gbako and Gwagwalada that is how they did to us for the whole days we spent in their den, until we were released on Thursday morning around 2: PM”.

Mr. Ajayi added: They have people that understand all languages. These people are wicked; we begged them in the name of God; that ignited their anger. They claimed God doesn’t exist; we begged them in the name of their father, one of them shot my thumb and, he said, do I know my father, one of us begged them in the name of their mothers before they stopped getting unnecessarily brutal.

“At a point, they were telling our relatives that if they did not come with money they would kill us, my brother, it was a horrible experience for me. I don’t even pray to be a portion of my enemy.

“When they released us they told us to tell our people not to try and track them, they said if we do, we should be expecting their coming back”. He explained.

Another victim, identified and Francis Ehibor from Edo State said: “We were not given food and they will go to the stream and bring bad water for us to drink and if we complain, we are hungry. They will cut small bread and give it to us like dogs. My brother we saw hell, they were well equipped, their leaders predominantly speak Fulani to each other.

AljazirahNigeria who interviewed the victims revealed that the bandits do not even take their prey from their community as people thought, but make use of the Tungamaje, Gbako, Gwagwalada bushes without anyone challenging them be it day or night.

The investigation further revealed that the bandits have their informants among the residents who normally give information about the victims; especially their work, number of children, even the names and numbers of their investments.

WE HAVE LOST FAITH IN POLICE – RESIDENTS

Some of the dwellers expressed disappointment in the police over its failure to take action against these people that have terrorized the area operating with ease.

According to a woman identified as Mama Emma: “Since the beginning of this year, I have not had a good sleep over the fear of kidnappers.

“In this Paulosa, we don’t sleep until 3: AM because they used to perpetrate their evil around 1: AM to 2:30 Am. And we have reported this case to the Nigerian Police, Paulosa unit and even, Suleja division they have done nothing”.

When asked if police do anything when they come on assessment? she hissed; “We have lost confidence in them, they came blowing their siren like dog waoooooh, waooooooh; they checked the four houses involved and since then we are yet to hear from them, they did not even come back to ask if those kidnapped regained their freedom, it’s the community that were running around to ensure the victims regained freedom. So, forget them”. She lashed at the Police.

While AljazirahNigeria reporter queried  more, a resident named Deborah expressed: “I don’t know the work of police who refused to perform their responsibility, they came we were all happy, we explained everything to them but instead of them to act, they were asking us the type of gun bandits came with?

“We can’t come out, the shot sporadically with an intimidating voice like, “If they bore you weller, let him or her come out, they were even telling me on my window, we know you are inside if you love your life don’t come out”. Honestly, we are in a serious problem in this area, this is the fourth time they will come this year, and we are tired.

“Please let the government of Nigeria, especially the police wake up to their responsibility, it’s getting messier day-in-day-out”, she lamented.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Niger State Police Command, Wasiu Abiodun, said: “We are not relenting, we are carrying out investigations, we did not fold our arms”.