31 December 2012

Nigeria: Gombe Assembly Member Kidnapped

Photo: Leadership
Unknown gunmen

Unidentified gunmen yesterday kidnapped a member of the Gombe State House of Assembly while he was on his way to the mosque for the Muslim dawn prayer.

Alhaji Jalo Ahmed Ganga, who is chairman of the House Committee on Finance, was abducted at about 5am near his home at Danaje Quarters in Gombe by men who came on motorbikes, his brother Hamza said.

Hamza told the BBC Hausa that three men on two motorcycles stopped the lawmaker as he walked to the mosque and forced him to mount one of the bikes at gunpoint.

The Assembly member was sandwiched by two men on one bike, while the third man rode the other bike and they drove away.

"Up to now there is no information on his whereabouts," Hamza said, adding that Ganga appeared to have left his cell phone at home.

State Commissioner of Police Mohammed Sule confirmed the kidnapping.

"Yes, we just heard this morning that some hoodlums came with a motorcycle while he was going to pray," said Sule, quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

"He was accosted and they took him on a motorcycle; it seemed a vehicle was parked close to his house, because people said they heard a sound of a vehicle zoom off," he added.

Sule said the kidnappers abandoned their motorcycle with no plate number. He assured the public that the police command would do all within its powers to rescue the lawmaker.

"My investigators and intelligence officers are already working to trace his whereabouts and the motive behind his kidnap," he said.

Director of the State Security Services (SSS), Mr Bitrus Asher, also confirmed the incident.

The Speaker of the State Assembly, Alhaji Inuwa Garba, said: "We are making some efforts please and I don't want to say anything about it now."

Ganga, who represents Gombe North State Constituency, was last seen at a public event on Saturday when he attended the annual Tangle Cultural Festival in Billiri.

NAN quoted an unnamed source as saying that when his abductors came, Ganga shouted for help to no avail.

This was the first reported kidnapping incident in Gombe.


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