Following palpable fear caused by a viral social media message that swept through Abuja at the weekend over a rash of kidnappings, the Police is working to calm frayed nerves, assuring that one of the victims, a university lecturer, has been freed.
There are also reports that another victim, identified as Aisha Ardo, was freed after relatives coughed out an unspecified sum in foreign currency
But the Police adds it is working to free the only unnamed victim it is aware of, giving an impression other cases do not either exist or were not reported to it.
Aisha’s father had at the weekend confirmed his daughter’s kidnap and called for prayers. “My daughter, Ai’shat Umar Ardo (Ummi)), 24, was kidnapped at Blinkers Shopping mall, No.46 Nkwame Nkurma crescent, Asokoro around 7:45pm yesterday.
“They put her in an ash Camry and zoomed off. Nothing is heard of her since, and no call is yet received from them. Your prayer is needed. Thank you,” his short statement said.
The chilling social media post that spread fear in Abuja reads: “FCT is under siege, be warned. Its been officially confirmed that 6 persons have been kidnapped within the capital city just yesterday, 14th September,2019.
“They include 1. A lecturer with Base university who was kidnapped in broad day light; 2. Two teenagers returning from Islamiyyah at 6 pm in Wuse zone 6; 3. One Mrs Hannah Azuibuike at 8.30 pm,near Habiba plaza , Maitama; 4. Ms. Ummi Umar Ardo who was kidnapped at 7,45 outside Blickers Super market Asokoro.”
In a statement to reassure residents, the FCT Police Command said Abuja is not under siege from men of the underworld.
Its spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah said,
“The FCT Police Command wishes to reassure the public that the Federal Capital Territory is safe and the Police has reinvigorated its crime-fighting strategy to ensure the protection of lives and property in FCT.
“It is pertinent to inform the public that the Police has successfully rescued the Baze University lecturer who was kidnapped on 8th September, 2019.
“The Command wants to also inform the public that it has commenced a discreet investigation into an unfortunate kidnap case which occurred at Asokoro on Saturday 14th September, 2019. The Police are currently making concerted effort to rescue the victim.
“Contrary to speculations on social media about an upsurge in this crime, the Command wishes to correct the notion and inform the public that the aforementioned were the only cases reported to the police, and efforts are being intensified to arrest the suspects behind the crime.
“The Command wants to reaffirm its commitment to the protect lives and property by deploying proactive security measures that will nip this crime in the bud.”