It was devastating period for the family of a 26- year-old housewife, Sa’adatu Umar Abubakar, when on Monday, September 4, 2017 she and her seven-year-old daughter, Rumaisa’u, were abducted in Sokoto on their way home after attending a naming ceremony at a relation’s house within the metropolis.
DAI learnt that when she left her home at Gidan Kanawa area in Sokoto South Local Government Area for Gandu area to attend the ceremony, she already had premonition that all may not well.
According to her husband of over a decade, 38-year-old Umar Abubakar, she looked gloomy before leaving the house that day. Before then, it took her a long time to leave her bed, turning restlessly before she finally went for her bath and got set for the ceremony.
It was at about 2.30 pm that Sa’adatu and her daughter were noted to have left home to attend the ceremony at a location close to the Sokoto Central Market.
“Before she left home, I bid her farewell and prayed for their safety,” said the husband.
But when it was nightfall and there was no trace of the two, there was apprehension.
“I noticed something unusual as my wife and daughter did not return home by 10 pm. I tried to call her on phone several times but the phone line did not connect after which we made enquiries at the venue of ceremony, my family members and hers, but to no avail, “ he added.
“We later went to media houses where they made announcements on the missing persons. Our team searched all hospitals, police stations at Kwanni and Central Market outposts and by midnight we all concluded that all was not well.”
According to him, the family then resorted to intensive prayers.
“We prayed all through the night in a mosque with many good people who participated in the reading of the Glorious Quran and prayed to Allah for intervention,” he said.
Though Daily Trust could not speak with Sa’adatu as she was said to have a headache and shouldn’t be disturbed, her daughter who was also a victim gave a vivid account of what happened.
“When it was time for us to go back home, we left the place of the ceremony and went to the main road where my mother stopped a tricycle. The tricycle had a rider and a companion at the front while a lady passenger was sitting alone at the back. As soon as we entered, we both lost consciousness only to find ourselves in a room with three women, one of whom from all indications was the owner of the room,” she said.
They later realised that they were in Kafanchan, Kaduna State.
The girl added: “There were people who kept coming and going out of the house, and they were speaking a language which I don’t understand. My mum and I remained in the room with the two other women throughout our stay and we were given noodles only, three times a day.”
According to her, her mother refused to eat the food each time they brought it but continued to pray relentlessly.
“She hardly slept but I slept briefly,” she said.
Rumaisa’u said they spent two days in captivity and on the third day they were shaken by shooting from outside and all the people in the house, including them, ran out.
“It was as we were running out of the house that an armed military man grabbed my mother’s hand and diverted us to their vehicle. They took us to his house from where my uncles later came to take us back home here in Sokoto,” she said.
While his wife and daughter were in captivity, Abubakar said it was two days of continued thorough prayer sessions until Wednesday, September 6, and at about 2 pm when one of his wife’s relations phoned to tell him that his wife had been found in a house in Kafanchan, Kaduna State and was in the custody of a security personnel and was also healthy.
“The whole people in the area rejoiced, giving thanks to Allah for His mercy through the success of our prayer,” he said.
“Her relations travelled to Kafanchan and brought them home. I was extremely happy for their safe return. I allowed her a night with her parents for a complete rest. I went to her the following morning but due to the large number of people trooping to the house, we couldn’t get a conducive moment to talk in isolation until later,” he said.