by terrorists on October 30, 2022, had left the residents and relatives in deep worries and fear.
The PUNCH recalls that terrorists had swooped on the same local Government headquarters in December 2020 where they kidnapped 344 students of the Government Science Secondary school, Faskari. The students were later released after spending six days in terrorists’ captivity.
Speaking of this recent abduction, a man who gave his name as Muntari Auwalu said his niece was one of the victims.
The man, who is a commercial motorcyclist in Katsina, said he was called on Sunday night that his niece, Asia was abducted along with others in the afternoon on the farm. She said efforts were being made as at Wednesday to source for ransom being demanded by the terrorists on the victims.
Auwalu, who did not disclose the amount, said, “I was called about midnight on Sunday that Asia had been kidnapped and that the terrorists were yet to get across to us on what their demands were. Asia is preparing for her wedding. I think that made her go and do the farmhand job where she was kidnapped.
“I reside in Katsina where I operate commercial motorcycles since terrorists have made it impossible for us to go to our farms again back home at Mairuwa.
“I get in touch with home every day and as at this morning (Wednesday), I was told the terrorists had made known their demands while I was asked to source for my own share of the contribution. I won’t be able to tell you the amount as it is our people at home who have the facts and figures. I will only appeal to the government to improve security in our communities. I and many others from Mairuwa relocated from the village because of the terrorists.”
Residents said the terrorists surrounded the farmland around 3pm on Sunday, October 30, 2022, when the youths were busy harvesting crops on the farmland.
The youths were said to have been hired as labourers from the various communities surrounding the farm, with majority of them said to have been from Mairuwa village.
The list of the victims made available by the Katsina Police command showed that no fewer than seven girls were among them.
The list also showed that the victims were between the ages of 16 and 21.
The names of the victims as obtained from the police command were Lawal,18; Mandiya,18; Bilikisu (female) 18; Samaila,16; Awanu,16; Dalha,21; Umeh Abdullahi (female),18; Hadiza, (female) 17; Ibrahim Dalha (17); Zainab (female) 17; Aliyu Baba (15) and Yusufu Dana (15).
The rest are Abdullahi, 18; Samaila,18; Shehu,17; Asia Abdul (female) 19; Suwera (female) 16; Abdullahi,17; Aminat (female)18; Sani,15; and Nafiu,17.
Attempts to speak with the Mai Unguwa of Mairuwa were abortive as enquiries regarding the kidnap were directed to Faskari and Katsina.
One of the opinion leaders in the village said, “Please, go to the Emir’s palace in Katsina. We have briefed them. The police have taken over the issue and all we do now is to pray for the safe return of our children, majority of whom are responsible for their upkeep. That is why they went to work as labourers on the farm.”
Residents also said that the owner of the farmland where the children were kidnapped was residing in Funtua and he only visits the farmland occasionally.
It was also alleged that the owner had earlier given the terrorists one million naira so that he could harvest his crops without being molested or kidnapped.
Nobody could confirm this however.
Also, a man who was said to act as a farm manager for the man and who was said to be based in Mairuwa, could not be located on Wednesday. The house residents said the farm manager used to stay was in the village was locked up and deserted as at Wednesday afternoon.