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Gunmen Kidnap Ex-Council Chairman, Reject N10m Ransom

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• Kill Secondary School Exam Candidates

THE former chairman of Abadam local government area of Borno state, Alhaji Mustapha Gadobe, was at the weekend kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect in Wadiya community, a suburb of Maiduguri metropolis at about 7.35pm Friday.

The abductors, according to a source, said they would kill the ex-council boss unless a 50m ransom is paid.

The source said Gadobe was ambushed at gunpoint and driven off in his Toyota Cruiser to an unknown destination.

Journalist also learnt that a serving member of the Borno State House of Assembly is currently handling negotiations between the abductors and the Borno State government.

A top political appointee said the abductors threatened to kill their hostage when the mediator offered to pay N3m.

The source said that yesterday another offer of N10m was made to the abductors, which they turned down.

A top official of the State Security Service confirmed the abduction in a telephone chat, but refused to give more details on steps being taken to rescue the ex-council chairman.

Meanwhile, suspected Boko Haram gunmen on Wednesday killed several students of Monguno Secondary School.

The victims whose throats were slit had finished writing their Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) and were returning home.

Monguno is 135 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital. It is the epicentre of Islamists activities.

The attackers, according to a villager, bound the hands of the victims along a footpath leading to the school, slit their throats and fled on three motorcycles towards Marte council area.

Men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) arrived at the scene, three hours later.

JTF spokesman, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, and the Borno State Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Musa Inuwa Kubo, confirmed the incident yesterday.

They described the situation as “unfortunate and frightening”.

Sagir and Kubo, as at Saturday, could not ascertain the exact number of students killed by the attackers.

Kubo in a telephone interview said: “I am calling on the people of Borno State to continue to pray and fast, so that the incessant attacks and killings in the state would cease.”

A JTF source told The Guardian that: “until political, traditional and religious leaders in Borno State collectively condemn the activities of members of Boko Haram, there might be no peace, despite the deployment of troops and policemen by the Federal Government since June, 2011.”

 

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