Relief enjoyed by Birnin-Gwari road users in the last four weeks, after restoration of peace by security agencies, have been disturbed as armed bandits have resumed their criminal activities.
The gunmen were said to have killed and kidnapped travellers on the same route between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Speaking to PRNigeria, Awwali Nagote, one of the drivers who escaped the attack, narrated that armed bandits had intercepted some travellers and drivers and whisked them away into the bush.
Nagote said: “I was approaching the Labi area of the Birnin-Gwari highway when I noticed several vehicles, mostly commercial buses and lorries parked by the roadsides, after the armed bandits had moved some of their captives into the bush.
“Then we saw some of them shooting towards our direction and we quickly left our vehicles and ran for our dear lives.
“One of the intercepted vehicles was a trailer belonging to BUA Cement and another long Dangote truck among other vehicles conveying travellers to Lagos.”
Meanwhile, some of the victims have been rescued by the security personnel in collaboration with local vigilante groups.
A leader of the local vigilante group that assisted in the rescue operation explained that that the bandits only strike when security men are withdrawn late in the night and before their return to duty posts the following morning.
The vigilante leader who craved anonymity said: “The bandits are using new methods of kidnapping, using the same points that security personnel left in the evening to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
“They even killed some of their victims between yesterday and this morning (Thursday) around Labi along Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna highway.
“There were notable positive changes in the last one month after the Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai flagged-off the 2 Battalion Forward Operation Base (FOB) at the Birnin-Gwari with a mandate to the troops to go after the bandits and wipe them out.
“The police also arrested and paraded some of the vicious kidnappers and cattle rustlers terrorizing travelers and people living in our communities.
“The challenges are that some of the security personnel leave the security posts in the night and return the following morning. It is in between the period that the armed bandits do the kidnapping”, he added.
Police Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Command, Mr. Mukhtar Aliyu said that he was yet to receive full details of the resumption of attacks, adding that the command had increased surveillance on the flash-points.