The 44 worshippers abducted from a mosque in Zamfara community last Friday have been subjected to physical labour on armed men’s farmlands.
Residents told Daily Trust that the bandits had called to tell relatives that the captives were with them and working on their millet and sorghum plantations but had yet to demand ransom.
“Our millet plantations are due for harvest and the captives must do the work for us,” one of the bandits was quoted as saying by a resident, Abubakar Bukkuyum.
Last Friday, bandits abducted dozens of worshippers from a central Juma’at Mosque in Zugu community of Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Residents said the armed men hid their guns inside their clothes and stormed the mosque when the Imam was about to start delivering sermons and they asked those on the premises of the mosque to get inside.
“No one saw them with guns and many people mistook them as worshippers. Nobody paid attention to them because they hid their guns.
“However, shortly after they moved inside the mosque they brought out the rifles and fired some shots as a warning.
“They herded the congregants into the bush but some of the worshippers managed to scramble out of the mosque to safety. The muezzin was among those kidnapped but the Imam was able to escape the assault.
“Some those who were outside the mosque were also abducted.
When contacted for an update, the spokesman of the police in the state, SP Muhammad Shehu, said search and rescue operation had already commenced.