Abductions and Killings Plague Nigeria’s Kaduna State
Nigeria’s northern states, especially Kaduna and Zamfara, are facing a fresh round of violence and abductions this month. On November 10, gunmen shot Air Vice Marshall Mohammed Maisaka and his daughter at their home. Maisaka was a lecturer of Internal Medicine at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital. The motives for the murders are unclear; however, the area where they lived has been plagued by abductions for ransom, and in the absence of government protection the Air Vice Marshall had assisted with organizing local self-defense. The previous day gunmen ambushed and killed seven police officers and burned their bodies. That same day, bandits kidnapped 18 local government workers in the state of Kaduna and are demanding N40 million in ransom. They seized the victims, most of whom are women – Including several nursing mothers — between the towns of Zaria and Giwa in Kaduna state.
Local students who are part of the “Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) Kaduna State Students Wing” have reacted by signing a statement calling on the state and federal governments to provide better public security against these audacious crimes. They believe the governments do not have the will or the ability to stop these criminal gangs.
It’s a real possibility that innocent people are also facing persecution from those charged with protecting them. One Christian in the area reported that in October the Kaduna state government destroyed 263 buildings in a Christian neighborhood, including six churches despite the fact that their proprietors possessed legitimate proof of ownership, and a court ruling against demolition in at least one of the cases. Most of the Christians who lived there were retirees with limited resources who had sunk their life’s savings into their retirement homes.
- The Guardian, Bandits Abduct 18 LG Workers in Zaria as CNG Threatens Shutdown, November 9, 2021
- The Guardian, Gunmen kill retired AVM, daughter, orderly in Kaduna, November 10, 2021