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Victims tell their heartbreaking stories as crime rates rise in Abuja

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Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and John Kwayidami, the traditional chief of the village, was sitting outside his house; suddenly, he heard the sound of gunshots. He looked up and saw a group of armed men running toward him.

“Chief, come with us! You are our hostage now,” one of the gunmen shouted.
John was shocked and frightened. “Why are you doing this?” he asked.

“We need money, and we know the government will pay a ransom for your release. Now come with us quietly, or we will shoot,” the gunman replied.

John had no choice but to comply. The shooters grabbed him and started dragging him away. John’s wife and children were screaming and crying, but the gunmen ignored their pleas.

Meanwhile, other gunmen were going from house to house, rounding up residents and taking them hostage. One of the residents, an 18-year-old boy named Solomon, tried to run away, he was shot in the leg.

“Please, don’t shoot me! I didn’t do anything wrong!” Solomon cried out in pain.
The gunmen showed no mercy. “You should have stayed put, boy,” one of them said before shooting him.

As the gunmen escaped, the community was left in shock and disbelief. The news of the kidnapping spread quickly, and the security agencies were immediately alerted.
Hours have turned into days, and the community waited anxiously for any news about their chief and the other kidnapped residents.

On the 30th of March, 2023, barely a week before the shooters struck in Chida, it was a typical day in Gishiri village, a small community located near the highbrow Maitama district of Abuja. The sun was shining, and the locals were doing their usual business. 

However, things were about to take a turn for the worse.

A gang of criminals had been terrorizing the community for months. They consumed and peddled illicit drugs, intimidated, attacked, and assaulted innocent citizens, and dispossessed them of their valuables. 

The gang possessed and used dangerous weapons both day and night, and they had no regard for elders and leaders of the community. They went on a rampage, stabbing and brutalizing over ten people with cutlasses and destroying many vehicles.

One resident, Mary, recounted her experience. “I was on my way to the market when I saw the gang. They were armed with cutlasses and were attacking anyone in their path. I tried to run, but one of them caught up with me and stabbed me in the arm. I was lucky to escape with my life,” she told Saturday Vanguard.

Another resident, Ahmed, spoke to a reporter and described how the gang had no respect for anyone. 

“They came to my house and demanded money. When I told them I had none, they beat me up and took my phone and laptop. They have no regard for elders or leaders of the community,” he said

The incident created a bad image for Gishiri village, leaving the residents feeling scared and helpless. They wondered why the government had not curbed the gang’s activities more.

“We need more security in our community. We cannot live like this anymore,” one resident said.

The FCT Administration had always promised to take decisive action to end the menace of gangsterism in the nation’s capital. 

The public are urged to remain law-abiding, be vigilant, and keep up prompt rendition of distress calls/complaints through the following emergency lines: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883, while the Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) desk, could be reached on: 0902 222 2352.