Gunmen suspected to be bandits have reportedly kidnapped a traditional ruler in Plateau State.
According to confirmed sources, the assailants invaded the Panyam community in the Mangu Local Government Area of the State in the wee hours of Monday and abducted His Royal Highness, Aminu Derwan.
The bandits were said to have stormed the community shooting sporadically to scare away residents. The house of the abducted district head is said to be without a fence, hence making it easy for the criminals to enter his palace to carry out their heinous acts.
A resident of the community, Moses Garuba who spoke with The PUNCH said the bandits are about 20 in number.
Garuba told newsmen on Monday morning in Jos that “It was last night around midnight that the bandits, who were more than 20 and heavily armed, surrounded the district head’s palace in Panyam.
“Because his house was not fenced, some villagers who saw how his house was surrounded by strange people alerted other members of the community through a community bell. But immediately the bandits heard the bell, they started firing gunshots and eventually went away with the traditional ruler, leaving the community helpless.”
The State Police Command is said to have been informed of the incident. However, the spokesman for state police Command, Alabo Alfred, could not be reached when contacted on the incident as his mobile phones were reportedly switched off.
The kidnap of the district head is the latest in a series of abductions targeted at traditional rulers and the clergymen in the state.
Also, gunmen had on Sunday, last week kidnapped the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the Jos East Local Government Area of the state, Reverend James Kantoma, and a traditional ruler in the state, Ugoh Ababs.
While Kantoma, who is also the Catholic priest in charge of St. Anthony’s parish in the Jos East LGA, was kidnapped at his church compound in the Angware community, the traditional ruler was abducted when the gunmen attacked his palace in Amo district, Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
The two personalities were, however, released a few days later after a ransom was allegedly paid to the abductors.