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Daylight Nightmare: 10 Bus Passengers Abducted in Brazen Attack on Kogi Highway

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OKENE, Nigeria – Unidentified gunmen abducted ten people on Sunday, September 10, 2023, along the Ajaokuta/Okene road area of Nigeria’s Kogi State.

The victims were passengers of two buses operated by Benue Links, a state government-owned transport company.

They were en route from Makurdi to Lagos when the incident occurred.

According to sources, the abductors had staged an ambush, flagging down the two buses between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m., before leading ten passengers into the wilderness.

A company official from Benue Links, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, confirmed the incident in a phone interview on Monday, September 11, 2023.

“The incident indeed happened along Ajaokuta/Okene road yesterday between 2:00 and 3:00 pm,” the official said.

“Two vehicles were involved, and ten passengers were abducted. The incident was reported at the Adogo Police Station near Okene.”

As the buses were part of a state government-owned fleet, the incident adds pressure on local authorities to address safety and security issues that have plagued the region.

“The gravity of this abduction cannot be overstated. It is not just a crime against individuals but an affront to the state and the government,” said Dr. Aisha Bello, a security analyst based in Lagos.

“It calls for urgent action and reassessment of the safety measures in place.”

The official from Benue Links added a plea for increased security on the road.

“We appeal to the government to beef up security along the road for adequate surveillance,” he said.

“We cannot continue to risk the lives of innocent citizens who rely on our services for their transportation needs.”

As of now, no group has claimed responsibility for the abductions, leaving residents and travelers on the Ajaokuta/Okene road in a state of apprehension and worry.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident, but no arrests have been made so far.

The brazen kidnapping raises questions about the state of security in Nigeria, a country grappling with challenges ranging from insurgency to armed robbery and communal clashes.

It casts a spotlight on the need for immediate action to protect citizens and provide safe transportation corridors in the region.

“This incident should serve as a wake-up call,” said Dr. Bello. “As we focus on combating other security issues in the nation, let’s not forget that ensuring everyday journeys’ safety is also paramount.”

The kidnapping adds to a growing list of security concerns in Nigeria, further eroding public confidence in the government’s ability to maintain law and order.

As the nation holds its collective breath, hoping for the safe return of the abducted individuals, the call for enhanced security measures has never been more urgent.

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