Bandits have abducted Hon. Kawu Ibrahim Yakasai, the Organizing Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), from his residence in Yakasai village located in Kaduna State.
The abduction occurred around 10:00 pm on Friday when a group of bandits invaded Yakasai village within the Soba Local Government Area.
Their specific target was the residence of Yakasai, and they forcefully seized him, as per sources familiar with the incident.
Hon. Kawu Ibrahim Yakasai, a former Chairman of Soba Local Government, was taken by the attackers and subsequently transported to an undisclosed location.
In response to the incident, Lawal Sani, a resident of Soba, expressed his hopes for Yakasai’s safe release through prayers.
An anonymous member of the ruling party’s executive committee confirmed the occurrence and voiced concerns about the well-being of Hon. Yakasai.
Mohammed Lawal Shehu, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Uba Sani, also acknowledged the incident and stated that the governor had instructed security agencies to pursue the kidnappers and ensure Yakasai’s safe return. He reiterated the administration’s dedication to the safety of lives and properties for all Kaduna state residents. One of the measures taken towards this end is the recruitment of 7000 vigilantes who will complement the efforts of the state’s security agencies.
Messages sent to the Police Public Relations Officer in Kaduna, DSP Mohammed Jalige, regarding the matter are yet to receive a response at the time of this report.
Additionally, the French government has firmly rejected the demands of Niger’s coup leaders, asserting that these “putschists have no legitimate authority” to issue directives to the French ambassador in Niamey.
The military faction that seized control in Niger on July 26 had audaciously given the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, an ultimatum of 48 hours to leave the country.
France acknowledged the putschists’ request, as stated by the French Ministry to AFP. However, France promptly dismissed the appeal, emphasizing that the coup leaders lack the legitimacy to make such demands.
France emphasized that the appointment and presence of the ambassador fall solely under the jurisdiction of Niger’s duly elected and legitimate authorities.
France’s statement read, “The putschists are not authorized to make this request, as the ambassador’s accreditation is granted solely by the legitimate elected authorities of Niger.”
The French Ministry reiterated their commitment to continually assess the operational status and security considerations of their embassy. The Ministry stated, “We are consistently evaluating the security and operational conditions of our embassy.”
In a separate incident, the Nigerien military government issued an order on Friday for the French ambassador in Niamey, Sylvain Itte, to leave the country within 48 hours.
This order was based on the alleged failure of the French ambassador to respond to a ministerial summons and alleged actions by the French government that were considered contrary to Niger’s interests.
Following the toppling of President Mohamed Bazoum’s regime by the Nigerien military, demonstrations against France occurred, and President Bazoum along with his family have been detained since.
The military leadership contends that Paris aims to intervene militarily in Niger to reinstall Bazoum. They also criticize the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), portraying it as influenced by France, the former colonial power in the region.
In response, ECOWAS imposed significant economic sanctions on Niger and reserved the possibility of armed intervention to restore constitutional order.
Within Niger’s borders, France maintains around 1,500 troops to counter the ongoing threat of jihadist groups that have caused unrest not only in the country but also across the broader Sahel region for an extended period.