CONFESSION: We kidnapped a nurse along to take care of the sick in the forest
We once kidnapped my friend because his parents were rich
Kidnapping by herders may not end because it gives quick money than rearing cattle
By Evelyn Usman and Ifeanyi Okoli
Two suspected members of a notorious kidnap gang that has been terrorising Nasarawa State have been arrested by operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team, with other members still at large.
Among numerous abductions perpetrated by the gang was that of two patients and a nurse at Kun-warke Clinic and Maternity, Kan-Stakuwa, in Lafia area of the state, four months ago.
Members of the gang stormed the clinic at night , announced their presence with gunshots which they followed with a command to every one to cooperate or risk losing their lives if they acted otherwise.
They were however released three days later, after N4 million was paid.
Crime Guard gathered that operatives of the FIB- IRT, through intelligence report arrested the duo of Abdullahi Danshoho ,25 and Illiyasu Salleh, 24.
One of the main suspects identified simply as Maikano, said to be one of the gang’s armourers, is said to be on the run, with a cache of arms.
The suspects opened up, during interrogation, on the several kidnaps they had participated in and their modus operandi. One of them also revealed why some herders went into kidnapping and why the trend may never end.
For Danshosho, a father of four , he blamed his indulgence on inability to get a truck to work with.
He said “I am from Nasarawa State. I am married with four children. I attended government Primary and Secondary schools in Nasarawa. I went further and got an NCE in 2020 but I am yet to collect the result because of lack of funds to complete my fees.
“ I decided to become a truck driver since I could not get a job but It was difficult to get a truck and as a father of four, I needed to be seen as a man. I met my friend, Illiyasu, sometime in September last year and he showed me the way. He told me kidnapping was the only way out, that I should source for people with money who we could kidnap.
Number of kidnaps
“ I joined the gang last year October. Since then, I have participated in five kidnap operations but only three were successful. It was after the 5th one that I told myself that as a graduate with four children, I should be careful in order not to disgrace my family. I stopped going out with the gang since December 2020.
Number of operations
”The first successful operation was in Lafia ,where we picked on Igbo man who lives around my area and drives big cars. I have asked him for money many times and each time, he told me to go and hustle. I decided to give his details to Illiyasu who arranged the job. I provided the information needed and at the end , I was given only N100,000.
“The second successful job was arranged by Illiyasu. That was the clinic where we usually went for treatment. Our target was the Director. My job was to go there and confirm that he was in the hospital.
“On the day we struck, it was about 8pm. The gate man fled when he saw guns . I was very sure that the Director was around. But he managed to escape. We decided to pick those we could lay out hands on.
“After some days, they gave me N100,000 as my share. I did not complain because they told me that the patients were farmers and that the nurse was from a poor family. It was after the deal that I learnt they collected N4million but they lied to me .
Friend also victim
“A week later , I brought the third job which was also successful. My friend with whom I hung out was the victim. I decided to kidnap him because I was sure that his parents could afford to pay for his release. We collected N1.5million and my share was N100,000.
When my friend was released, he fell sick and narrated his ordeal to me. I consoled him and regretted my action.
“ I pray he and his family will forgive me. I did that because I was desperate and found it difficult to feed my wife and four children. I used part of my money to pay debt at school so that they could issue me my certificate”, he said.
For his partner in crime, Illiyasu Salleh, who hails from Maraba, Lafia area of Nasarawa, he said he went into kidnapping because he considered it the easiest way of making money.
Hear him: “ I only attended Arabic school. I am a cattle rearer and a farmer. I have 10 cows which were given to me by the people that I served. Normally, if you serve someone, they will give you two cows.
“I decided to go into kidnapping because it’s an easy way to make money. It was Maikano, Bodejo and Maigari that introduced me into it. We have one hideout in Nasarawa state.
“For the hospital kidnap, Maigari brought the idea. Abdulahi , who is well known by the nurses was the one who surveyed the place. He pretended he had headache and wanted to check his blood pressure on the day of the attack. I stayed by the hospital gate so that the nurses won’t identify me.
Maigari, Bodejo and others entered and were unable to get the director. I suspect he heard the gunshot and escaped before they could reach him.
My colleagues forced the nurse to take some drugs that would be needed to take care of the patients in our hideout.
The nurse took care of the sick victims for the period of time they stayed in the bush until ransom was paid. That was the reason we took her along .
“I did not stay in the bush with them because the nurse would identify me. I got N200,000 from the ransom . I was very angry because I knew they collected more than what was shared, even though I didn’t know the exact amount. I threatened to expose them if they did not give me extra cash. It worked, because I got additional N100,000.
“ It is only God that will bring an end to kidnapping. The truth is that we don’t make much money from cattle rearing and you need to stay with a cow for many months before it will be ready for use. On the other hand, kidnapping gives you quick money.
“If I am given a second chance, I will report my father to the police if he is a kidnapper”.
Owner of the hospital, (name withheld) narrated how he escaped on the day the kidnappers stormed.
He said: “ I was in the clinic attending to patients that night. I stepped out to the gate where my car was parked and saw some people close to my car. I asked my son who was my driver if he knew them, he said no.
“ I also noticed that a car was parked opposite the clinic without plate number. As we drove off , the car followed us to Maraba and turned back to the clinic site.
“Minutes later, I received a call from the clinic that there were gunshots. I got another call informing me that the gun men took my night duty staff and two others. The next day, they called with my staff number and said that I was the target.
They later released them on December 2, 2020 ,after ransom was paid”.
Vanguard News Nigeria