Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have abducted the eight-year-old daughter of the Chairman, Agu-Amede Community Neighbourhood Watch Group, Mr Sunday Olinya, aka Sunday Sharia Driver.

Agu-Amede community is in the Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State and shares boundary with Benue State.

The community has witnessed several herdsmen attacks, including a series of abductions for ransom.

Our correspondent gathered that the recent incident occurred on Sunday when the herdsmen, numbering about seven, stormed Olinya’s house with AK-47 rifles.

After he escaped, the gang kidnapped his daughter, Nmesoma, after ransacking the house and carting away valuables.

Olinya, who confirmed the attack and the abduction of his daughter on Monday in a telephone interview with PUNCH Metro, said he had reported the incident to the police and some detectives had visited his house twice.

He said, “I was sleeping around 1am on Sunday when I heard a bang on the door. I was sleeping in the living room; immediately, I woke up. I heard the second bang. I stood up and asked who was there, but I got no response.

“I went close to one of the windows and looked outside. I saw two Fulani herdsmen with AK-47 rifles positioned to shoot. I rushed to the backdoor and saw two herdsmen equally positioned with their AK-47 rifles. All the light in the house was off, but the security lights were on and my wife and children were still sleeping in their rooms.

“So, the only option available since there was no network to call for assistance was to find a way to escape. Luckily for me, there was one window in the house that had no burglary-proof bars and I had to escape from there.”

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He noted that the assailants, on noticing that he was fleeing, shot in his direction, but he escaped unhurt.

“In order not to attract much attention, they broke one of the windows and went inside the house. They ransacked everywhere, collected some valuables, including money and my wife’s phone and kidnapped my eight-year-old daughter, who was sleeping.

“My wife told me that they looked for her as she overheard them asking my daughter where her mother was. According to her, when they heard the shooting, she and my son woke up and went to hide inside one of the rooms, but my daughter was still sleeping in her room,” he added.

Olinya noted that his family established contact with the hoodlums through his wife’s phone, saying they demanded N15m for her release.

He said, “They told a family member, who is in constant contact with them, that they came to kill me and not to abduct my daughter, and that I had an unfinished business with them.

“What I know is that my community asked them about a month ago not to come to destroy our farm crops. This happened after they destroyed with their cows about 50 hectares of rice farms in Akpouf Agu-Amede.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed the attack and abduction of the girl, but denied that the hoodlums were Fulani herdsmen.

“Meanwhile, a full-scale manhunt for the assailants and rescue of the victim has since commenced,” he added.

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