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The top government official was abducted with his son, contrary to an earlier report that he was kidnapped alongside his granddaughter.
Reports say Musa was abducted in his house located in Zungeru, Friday night, where he had attended a wedding ceremony.
One of the family members, who spoke with Punch, said the gunmen gained access into Musa’s apartment by breaking the access gate before he was abducted.
This is coming shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari had celebrated Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary, amidst calls for his resignation.
The ICIR reached out to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state Wasiu Abiodun to confirm the incident, but he did not respond to his calls and a text message sent to him.
The Niger State Commissioner for Information Muhammed Idris did not also answer repeated calls made to his line. A text message sent to him was also not returned.
Efforts to reach Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Mary Noel-Berje also failed as her line was unreachable.
It is not the first time Niger State would be recording an abduction incident. The state Governor Abubakar Bello once raised the alarm over spiking attacks from the Boko Haram insurgents, stressing that the insurgents had hoisted their flag in Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA). He issued warnings on their proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), after repeated calls for support from the Federal Government.
The chairman of Shiroro LGA, on October 1, also announced that the Boko Haram sect had taken over 500 communities in eight wards in his local government.
However, Noel-Berje later issued a statement confirming the abduction incident of the top government official and his son.
The state governor, who condemned the incident, described the attack as ‘evil and inhuman.’
Bello, in the statement, disclosed that the state security operatives were capable of addressing the lingering insecurity in the state, pleading with the public to provide intelligent information that could help curtail the crisis.
He also reacted to the killings in Shiroro and Munya LGAs of the state, where people were reportedly slaughtered, burnt while others were kidnapped.
“Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has condemned the kidnap of the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Transport, Dr. Ibrahim Garba Musa, and his son in Zungeru. The Governor in a statement described the act as evil and inhuman.
“Governor Sani Bello who also decried the barbaric and atrocious acts of bandits in Shiroro and Munya Local Government Areas recently, where many villagers were slaughtered, burnt and some kidnapped, houses as well as food bans set ablaze, said with the recent turn of event in the acts of banditry there is the urgent need for total overhauling of the strategy of security apparatus,” the statement read.
“The Governor maintained that the security operatives are capable of curtailing the situation and called for more support by the general public with useful and timely information.
“He then prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed, quick recovery of those injured, and the safe return of those kidnapped.
“The Governor reassured the people of his administration’s unrelenting efforts to address the insecurity in the State.”
Noel-Berje was further contacted to verify if it was Musa’s son or granddaughter that was abducted, but she was yet to respond as of the time of filing this report.