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Bandits storm Abuja estate in broad-day light, kidnap pastor

Bandits have stormed the El-Rufai Estate in the Bwari Area Council of Abuja, abducting a pastor popularly known only as Àjàyí.

Eyewitnesses reported that the attackers arrived around noon, firing shots into the air to instil fear among the residents.

The chaos prevented anyone from leaving their homes as the bandits made their way to the pastor’s house.

A resident of the community, El-Ameen, recounted the harrowing experience in a telephone interview with Punch.

“They invaded the estate at about noon on Tuesday. They started shooting into the air, and all the residents could not come out. This has not been reported. It happened in one of the estates called El-Rufai, roughly a few kilometres from the Nigerian Law School,” El-Ameen said.

He added that the local vigilante group was quickly overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the bandits.

“The pastor, who also worked with the education board, was specifically targeted and kidnapped from his house. The local vigilante group present in the estate was unable to match the firepower of the gunmen and was quickly overwhelmed,” El-Ameen stated.

According to El-Ameen, the bandits were preparing to raid another house when soldiers arrived, prompting the attackers to flee.

He, however, added that they had already taken the pastor by the time the military intervened.

Another resident known as Danladi, who witnessed the night attack, reported that residents were in shock when gunshots rang out in the estate on Tuesday.

Danladi said, “It happened about two days ago. They didn’t injure anyone, but they abducted one person. They (the kidnappers) have not called the estate since the abduction.

“The pastor lives in the estate. Kidnappings used to happen before. But since the FCT minister brought more security personnel to the area, we have not seen any incidents of the Tuesday attack.

“We were surprised when we heard gunshots. We started hearing gunshots by noon on Tuesday. They were trying to raid other houses in the estate when the joint security forces suddenly showed up.”

This incident is part of a worrying trend in the Bwari Area Council, which has seen several kidnappings in recent months.

In December 2023, six sisters and their father were abducted from their home, raising significant concerns about the security of the area.

The recent attack comes despite assurances from FCT Minister Nyesom Wike in February 2024 that adequate security measures were being implemented in Bwari and surrounding areas.

The minister had announced the deployment of substantial security forces based on intelligence to ensure the safety of residents and institutions.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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