Dorcas John Barwa and her daughter, have spent 22 days in custody of their abductors.

Abasifreke Effiong

Mrs. Dorcas John Barwa and her one-year-old daughter have spent 22 days as at Monday 24th February in the captivity of their abductors.

There is no hope yet that they will regain their freedom anytime soon because the Nigeria Police Force that should work to secure their release are frustrating intelligence lead on their abduction.

Dorcas and her little daughter were kidnapped alongside Victoria Barwa, Justina Usman Barwa and her two years old son.

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They five persons were kidnapped on February 2nd at about 2a.m in their house in Ishau community, Paikoro local government of Niger state.

No hope for children, women abducted in Ishau, Niger state, 22 days after Mrs. Justina Barwa and her son kidnapped on February 2.

They were abducted by unknown armed men suspected to be herdsmen from their house while they were sleeping, their family said.

Kidnapping, farmers/herders conflict and terrorist attacks have been on the rise in the six states in middle belt region which Niger is one.

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Members of Ishau community are worried that five persons from a family could be kidnapped from the community in one night despite heavy presence of Mobile policemen who are on a special operation in the community.

No hope for children, women abducted in Ishau, Niger state, 22 days after Miss Victoria Barwa, one of the five persons kidnapped in Ishau community, Niger State.

The Dune learnt that Mopol 42 squadron is on a special operation in Ishau community where the children and women were kidnapped.

Mr. Usman Barwa, councillor representing Ishau ward, said the kidnappers got in touch with his family a day after his wife, Justina, his son, and other members of the family were forcefully taken away at night.

He said the kidnappers initially demanded N20million ransom but slashed it down to N5million when they last phoned the family on Saturday 22nd February.

The Dune learnt that the family had offered to pay N500,000, to the kidnappers but it was rejected by the kidnappers.

Family members of the abducted persons have however accused the police of frustrating the rescue of the abducted persons, saying that the police have had enough lead to know the whereabouts of the kidnappers from a suspect the police arrested.

A member of the family who spoke on grounds of anonymity said a suspect, one Audu Jangado, was arrested by the police.

He said he is aware that the suspect told the police that he knew the hideouts of the kidnappers.

“We are still surprised that after Audu Jangado was arrested; he said he knew where the kidnappers are, I am surprised that the police have refused to take him there and rescue those women and children.”

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The Dune was told that the suspect, Jangado was arrested with a weight of Indian hemp, recharge cards, and cigarettes. This claim could not be verified with the police.

The suspect reportedly confessed to the police that he supplies the kidnappers food and logistics.

The family alleged that the suspect was released by the police.

No hope for children, women abducted in Ishau, Niger state, 22 days after Usman Adamu, Commissioner of Police, Niger State.

However, Abubakar Yahaya, the DPO who was in- charge of Paikoro Division, when Jangado was arrested, denied that he has been released.

Yahaya said though he has been transferred from Paikoro Division, the suspect was handed over to the Anti-kidnapping squad at the state command in Minna.

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“He is now at anti-kidnapping office at headquarters, Minna. They are investigating him.”

“Somebody like that na him dey go release ? (Yahaya said in pidgin English). A criminal ! We are not doing that. Police are not doing that. They are investigating him to ensure that everything is in order.”

Efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger state police command, Abubakar Mohammed, to speak on the case proved abortive as at the time of fielding this report. He neither answered calls put across to his mobile phone nor responded to text message sent to him.

Meanwhile, the family of the kidnapped victims has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to prevail on the Niger state police command to rescue their wives and children.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Usman Barwa, said they are afraid that the lives of their children are under serious threat in the kidnappers’ den.

“Please, let the IGP come to our rescue. We don’t have where to go to”, he said wobblingly.