The chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, and his daughter were kidnapped by gunmen on the Kaduna-Abuja Highway around 3pm yesterday.
The attack happened exactly two weeks after the Kaduna State police commissioner led a patrol along the highway where he declared it “safe and free of threat to ply on at any time.”
The spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Yakubu Sabo, who confirmed the abduction, said the UBEC chairman’s driver was shot dead by the kidnappers.
“Today April 29, we received information through DPO Katari that at about 1530hrs, he got a distress call that Armed Men in military uniform intercepted a Land Cruiser Jeep with Reg. No 07E o4 FG and Toyota Sienna with Reg. No SLJ 465 TN at Kurmin Kare Village along Kaduna -Abuja Expressway, opened fire on the vehicles and in the process the driver of the jeep was shot dead.
“While the occupants, Dr. Muhammad Abubakar who is the Chairman of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and his daughter were kidnapped, the occupants of the Sienna; one Alowonle Olalere and Onuka Victor both of Ibadan, Oyo State were injured and rescued to Katari Police Station.” The two men were said to be returning from Kano where they went to shoot a film titled “The Last Step”.
He said a combined team of mobile men, anti-kidnapping unit of the command, Special Forces and Operations Yaki were quickly mobilized to the area with a view to combing the bush for possible rescue of the victims and arresting the criminals.
Sabo added that: “IGP’S IRT was also contacted for technical support in tracking the hoodlums. At the moment, the two vehicles were recovered and taken to the station.
“The Commissioner of Police CP Ahmad Abdur-Rahman appeals to members of the public to support the police with relevant information that could assist in apprehending the perpetrators of this heinous act.”
He said the command would not be deterred in its efforts to bring crime to the barest minimum in the state, adding that the CP said the hoodlums “are only testing our collective will and we cannot relent. Update follows in due course please.”
Our correspondent also learnt that the gunmen shot to stop the two vehicles.
Meanwhile, many motorists and passengers remained unaccounted for after they were forced to abandon their vehicles to avoid being abducted when suspected kidnappers blocked the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway yesterday afternoon.
Their belongings were carted away by the kidnappers, it was learnt.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who narrowly escaped the attack by the kidnappers, reported that the incident happened a few kilometres to Katari town in Kachia local government area of Kaduna State at about 3.30pm.
NAN also reported that hundreds of motorists traveling from Kaduna to Abuja as well as those going the other way found themselves stranded for more than 40 minutes as both lanes of the expressway were blocked by cars abandoned by their owners.
NAN gathered that the bandits left the scene of the incident and moved into the bush with some of their victims before the arrival of security men, who later cleared the road for the motorists to continue on their journeys.