How Abuja-based pastor was kidnapped by suspected gunmen


How Abuja-based pastor was kidnapped by suspected gunmen

By Uthman Salami


A pastor known as Àjàyí, residing in Abuja, was reportedly abducted by suspected kidnappers at El-Rufai Estate in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.


This kidnapping disrupted a period of relative calm that had followed a series of previous abductions in the FCT.


El-Ameen, a community resident, recounted to our correspondent over the phone on Saturday that the suspects began firing shots into the air upon entering the estate.


El-Ameen mentioned that the situation could have been worse with more abductions if not for the swift intervention of nearby military forces, who arrived quickly to confront the assailants.

“The invaders entered the estate around noon on Tuesday, firing shots into the air, causing residents to stay indoors. This has not been widely reported yet. The incident occurred in El-Rufai Estate, located a few kilometers from the Nigerian Law School,” El-Ameen said.


“I own a property in the estate. The abducted pastor, who also worked with the education board, was taken from his house after the gunmen gained entry. They fired shots for several minutes before taking him.


“The estate’s local vigilante group was overpowered and could not match the gunmen’s firepower. The kidnappers were preparing to target another house when soldiers arrived, forcing them to flee. However, they had already taken the pastor by then,” El-Ameen explained.


Bwari has experienced multiple kidnappings recently. In December 2023, six sisters and their father were abducted from their home in the area council.


In February 2024, in response to growing public concern, FCT Minister Nyesom Wike assured residents that significant security measures would be implemented in Bwari and surrounding areas. He indicated that intelligence-driven deployments of security forces were made to protect residents and institutions.


Danladi, a resident who witnessed the attack, said residents were shocked by the sudden gunfire on Tuesday night.

“It happened about two days ago. No one was injured, but one person was abducted. Since the abduction, the kidnappers have not contacted the estate. The pastor lived in the estate. Although kidnappings occurred before, there had been no incidents since the FCT minister increased security personnel in the area. The gunfire on Tuesday took us by surprise,” Danladi reported.


The FCT police command did not respond to our correspondent’s inquiries about the incident. Calls and messages to its spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, went unanswered as of the time this report was filed.


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