Armed bandits operating along Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Highways have kidnapped 87 passengers on Sunday as Chief of Army Staff, Mr Tukur Buratai charged troops to end the wanton killings and destruction of property in the axis in three weeks.
Concerned with incessant kidnapping and killings, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the area cautioned its members from plying the route pending deployment of troop and other security agencies.
An official of NURTW said most of the kidnapped victims were passengers travelling between North and Southern parts of the country.
The NURTW official said: “over 15 vehicles including long trucks, buses and commercial cars were intercepted by armed bandits who selected their victims from their look and dressing and herded them into the bush.
“We learn that the kidnappers have started communicating and negotiating with the families of their victims, demanding for ransoms in millions of Naira.
“A man and a woman were killed today while four additional passengers were also kidnapped.
“As an official of NURTW we have warned our members to henceforth stop plying the route until there is adequate security in the area.
Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff, Buratai has charged troops to end the wanton killings and destruction of property in Birnin Gwari local government in Kaduna state by armed bandits in three weeks.
Speaking when he flagged-off the 2 Battalion Forward Operation Base (FOB) at Birnin-Gwari axis of Kaduna state, the army chief charged troops to go after the bandits and wipe them out.
The Army Chief said, “We are no longer going to adopt the defensive approach, it must be offensive. Since the battle has been brought to you, you must take it back and crush them wherever they are.
“The killings must stop, the wanton destructions of properties must stop, not only within Kaduna state but across the country.
“In the next two, three weeks, there must be a very resounding result that will bring these criminals to their kneels finally.
“They are not coming from the moon, or coming from outer space, they are within this territory. I don’t know why you cannot go to where they are and get them fished out.
“Am happy with the initiative of the General Officer Commanding 1 Division and all the commanders for the new approach and I want to see a decisive result at the end of this operation.
“The commanders have briefed me thoroughly of your challenges and be rest assured we have already started addressing some of these challenges.
“We must respond decisively and commanders must be personally held responsible for any lapse, they must decide and take appropriate action, and anything outside that, they must be held responsible.
“The next deployment must commence immediately. Other areas of logistic support, your welfare, be rest assured we will do our best to provide for you.”