Food Shortage Looms In Taraba As Kidnappers Target Traders


ST. John Catholic College, Mutumbiyu was in the news earlier this week following the explosion that rocked parts of the school premises. Natives of Mutumbiyu, a commercial hub for buyers and sellers of agricultural produce in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State are still reeling in fear and confusion over the inexplicable development that took them unawares.

Findings by Arewa Voice revealed that some persons who sometimes ply their trade and spend the night in the town have reconsidered their decision on staying back at the close of the busy daily market activities. They now prefer to leave the town before nightfall because of fear of the unknown. Kidnapping and banditry are also rampant in the community with traders and businessmen who flock the area in large number to buy and sell their goods as the main targets.

The unfortunate incident which led to the destruction of the chapel of the Catholic College, was the outcome of a botched kidnap attempt on the owner of a filling station in the area. Arewa Voice gathered that the gunmen had stormed the town on Sunday evening and laid siege to the victim who, however, managed to escape before the gunmen could fish him out. It was learned that in a desperate bid to escape the wrath of incensed members of the community and possible mob action, including lynching, the criminal elements resorted to sporadic shooting to scare off people. It was in the process that they detonated a massive explosive material that destroyed the chapel of the Catholic Church.

Principal of the College, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ikyaan, told Arewa Voice: “I was at the priest’s residence not too far from the school premises when we heard the explosion late Sunday evening. We are grateful that no one was injured and no life was lost although some parts of the chapel, which also serves as a hall was destroyed. This is the first time we are experiencing something like this in our school. We want the matter investigated by the authorities concerned.” 

Contacted, spokesman of the state police command, DSP Abdullahi Usman, said the explosion was caused by a dynamite thrown by the kidnappers who were trying to escape from being caught. He said: “In order to escape, the kidnappers started shooting into the air to scare off people, and this led to the injury of some persons. They also threw a dynamite into the Catholic chapel of the college which destroyed some parts of it. The situation is calm now and normalcy has returned.”

A grains trader at Mutumbiyu said that traders were being targeted by kidnappers in the area. He appealed to government and security agencies to address the situation before it degenerates into full fledge banditry. 

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