The Birnin Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU) Kaduna State, on Sunday, raised the alarm that many of the travellers that were abducted during the attack on September 1, 2022, are yet to be released.
Chairman of BEPU, Ishaq Usman Kasai, in a statement on Sunday, further expressed pain over the continuous blockage of Birnin-Gwari/Funtua highway by armed bandits.
He said the bandits have blocked the highway since September 2023, adding that over 30 vehicles including big trucks are trapped and yet to be retrieved by owners.
According to him, the bandits have carted away all the loads/goods contained in the trapped vehicles and the owners of the trucks were forced by the Armed bandits to pay huge amount of money ranging from N300,000 to N1000000 in order to bail and retrieve their trapped vehicles from the road.
He said the bandits charged the victims depending on the size and nature of the vehicles.
The group, therefore, appealed for mobilization of troops to ensure the opening of Birnin-Gwari-Funtua road and for retrieving of trapped vehicles unconditionally.
He said BEPU believed that opening of the road and sustained surveillance will help in addressing the problem of attacks on travellers and in bringing permanent peace as well as enhancing business and other economic activities in Birnin-Gwari LGA.
According to him, on Thursday, September 15, 2022, Armed bandits kidnapped three locals at farms in Kurgin Gabas Community in the Western part of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, adding that the bandits also enrouted the same Community on Friday 16th snatched motorcycle (Bajaj Model) and killed the owner (Bala Balansi) instantly before going back to the forest.
He said BEPU acknowledged that the security level at Birnin-Gwari to Kaduna Highway has improved following the earlier visit by GOC of 1 Div Kaduna and subsequent mobilization of troops as well as occasional aerial surveillance along the road by security agencies.