Community Foils Attempt To Abduct Journalist’s Father In Niger State

INFOMEDIA –  Neighboursand people of Gase community in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger state rose in defence of one of their own and foiled attempts by suspected Fulani herdsmen in police uniform to abduct a title holder in the area, Alhaji Suleiman Isah Saba Favu.

Isah Favu, the father to Comrade Samaila Saba Favu, Chairman of the State Information Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Niger state Council would have become the latest victim of abduction if not for the timely response from neighbours who heeded his call for help and came to his rescue.

Daily Independent gathered that, Favu, a farmer had retired with his family after the days’ hustles when armed men, numbering about 17 came calling at his house. The suspected Fulani militia were said to have shot sporadically into the air to scare away possible intruders as they headed straight to his room at about 1:30 am.

Isah Favu and his family, it was further gathered quickly raised alarm, calling on neighbours to come to their rescue when the intruders forced their way into the compound and tried to lead him to their waiting operational van which has no, ‘Nigerian Police Force’ inscription and a green coloured Vento Car.

Suspecting the strangers and their mission, Favu and his family alarm against the strangers mostly in police uniform with few others in mufty became their saving grace. Neighbours and people from the community started openning their doors, came out and headed towards the direction to see what was happening.

With increasing number of people coming out, it was further gathered that the suspected kidnappers who claimed to have been detailed by their ‘Superior’ to bring Favu, a man of over 70 years man with grad-children dead or alive soon became violent and threatened to shoot the septuagenarian if he refuses to cooperate with them.

The people who, not feeling comfortable with the explanations from the suspected kidnappers about their mission, coupled with the fact that the vehicles had no, ‘Nigerian Police Force’ inscription resisted attempts to take the old man.

Coming at the dead hours of the night, about 17 men armed with sophisticated wapons, they insisted seeing the warrant of arrest while others quickly put a call across to his son, Ismaila, ‘because we cannot understand why 17 armed men in police uniform were sent to bring a harmless old man by this hour of the night’.

As the gun men threatened to apply force to get Favu into their waiting vehicles or shoot him to death, the people in hot arguments resisted and started hiting hard objects on their vehicles and insisting that they leave the community quickly as they are not ready to allow them take the old man.

At this point the atmosphere became more charged and the ‘police men’ in self defence fired shots at the increasing number of villagers trying to overpower them but the bullets did not pernetrate, this according to the source forced the armed men to beat a retreat.

In the commotion that ensued, the source said one of the villagers by name, Gimba Ibrahim Saba Favu who was among the first set of people to resist attempts by the unknown gun men when the victims raised alarm sustained injuries while the glasses of the Vento car belonging to the suspects were broken in the process.

As the suspected kidnappers struggled to make their way out from Gase village, the villagers according to the source quickly mobilised and followed after them but unfortunately lost sight of the gang as they approached Abaji area.

Reacting to the attempted kidnap, Comrade Ismaila Saba Favu said he is grateful to God for frustrating the plots by the armed men and not allow his aged father be the next victim of abduction by Fulani herdsmen in Niger state.

Ismaila told our correspondent how he made attempts to confirm from police formations in the state, including the State Command headquarters, along Dutsen Kura-Gwari if of truth a team of policemen was sent on a mission but no positive response.

As at the time of the invasion, Ismaila who did not rule out the possibility that the armed men were kidnappers or Fulani herdsmen trying to abduct his father for ransom said his old man lost some of his personal belongings including money and mobile phone to the criminals.

Meanwhile, efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Wasiu A. Abiodun (DSP) to confirm the attempted kidnap proved abortive as his mobile phone kept indicating ‘the number is unreachable, as at the time of this report.

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