No fewer than eight members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) have been kidnapped by bandits in Kaduna State.
The gunmen were said to have abducted the church members on Friday evening while on transit along the Kachia Road in the Southern part of the state.
While the authorities in the state have yet to react to the incident, the leader of the men’s fellowship of the church in the province, Elder Adaji, confirmed the abduction of their members.
He explained that the abducted persons were on their way to Kachia for an evangelical outreach programme before their bus was ambushed by the bandits.
According to sources from the church, the bandits stopped the bus conveying the persons and immediately transferred the eight passengers to their vehicle, and zoomed off to an unknown destination. The church bus was said to have been abandoned on the road.
When contacted, the spokesman for the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, said the police have yet to confirm the incident.
The abduction of the church members comes on the heels of the chains of attacks by bandits on various communities in Kaduna State.
Among the prominent ones is the invasion of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in the Afaka where bandits attempted to kidnap scores of students from the school.
The prompt response of the military, however, led to the rescue of 180 people, comprising 132 male students, 40 female students, and eight civilian staff.
Despite the military intervention, the assailants abducted 39 students – a situation that has left their parents in despair with calls on the government to rescue them.
A breakdown of the missing students of the tertiary institution shows 23 females and 16 males, according to the government.
While the parents continue to protest for the return of the missing students using whatever available medium, the state government has insisted that negotiating with bandits was not an option.
Sadly, one Ibrahim Shamaki, whose daughter is among the abducted students, died from a heart attack on Friday evening.
Ibrahim was the father of Fatima Shamaki, one of the girls with hijab seen in the video that was released by bandits who attacked the school.
According to family sources, late Shamaki died after he fell ill shortly after the news of his daughter’s abduction was broken to him.
He was said to have later died while his relatives were about to take him to a hospital for further medical treatment.
Saturday makes it the 16th day since the students have been in the captivity of the bandits as the government says efforts are ongoing to secure their release.