The Zamfara State police command has confirmed that 11 travelers were kidnapped along Sokoto-Gusau road by armed bandits on Sunday.
Some media platforms in the country had reported that bandits abducted 60 travellers after blocking the Sokoto-Gusau road on July 25.
However, in statement on Tuesday, Mohammed Shehu, spokesperson of the Zamfara State police command, refuted the reports.
He said the command views the story as a “calculated attempt by mischief makers to create fear and apprehension into the minds of the general public, especially the commuters”.
The police spokesman in Zamfara stated that contrary to the reports, bandits abducted 11 passengers from a bus belonging to Sokoto State Mass Transit along Sokoto-Gusau road.
He said in the course of a search and rescue operation, the police found two of the passengers who had been left behind by the bandits as they fled.
“On Sunday 25th July, 2021, large number of armed bandits blocked a Toyota Bus Vehicle, belonging to Sokoto State Mass Transit and abducted eleven (11) Passengers who were travelling from Sokoto – Abuja along Sokoto – Gusau Road in Bakura LGA,” the statement reads.
“Police Tactical operatives attached to Operation Restore Peace were alerted, and they quickly mobilzed to the location and dislodged the hoodlums who blocked many vehicles for abduction. The road was instantly cleared for motorists and other road users and reinforced more Police Operatives to improve the security and safety of the commuters.
“In the course of mopping up the scene, a Toyota Bus Vehicle belonging to Sokoto State Mass Transit was sighted empty and it was revealed that eleven (11) Passengers including the driver were abducted and taken to the bush before the arrival of the Police.
“The Operatives further embarked on search and rescue operation in the sarrounding bush with a view to rescuing the kidnapped victims. Two (2) Persons who were left far behind with other hoodlums were abandoned by their captors for fear of being neutralised by the Police operatives, the remaining nine (9) victims were taken to the forest.
“The Command is currently employing various search and rescue strategies aimed at rescuing the victims safely.
“In view of the above, the Command enjoined members of the public to discontenance the abduction of 60 people. On the other hand, members of the press are urged to always verify the authenticity of any information that comes their way before going to the public.”