Residents of Bako area, the Kwali Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja are yet to come to terms with the disappearance of two siblings in the neighbourhood on Wednesday.
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PUNCH Metro gathered that two ladies, who secured an apartment in the area recently, fled with their neighbour’s children, a five-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy.
The development has since thrown the community into confusion as the distraught parents of the children are currently making spirited moves to trace the fleeing ladies and recover the children.
The efforts were yet to yield any positive outcome as of the time this story was filed on Thursday.
Trouble, our correspondent gathered, started when two-year-old Marwan started crying while his mother was praying.
PUNCH Metro learnt that one of the new tenants identified as Godiya, under the pretence that she did not want Marwan to distract his mother from her prayers, offered to carry the little boy.
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When the cry persisted, Godiya then took the boy and his elder sister, Hauwa, with her, claiming she wanted to go and buy biscuits for the children. She never returned.
PUNCH Metro learnt that when the mother finished her prayers, she patiently waited for the return of the tenant and the children to no avail.
By the time it became clear that the waiting game was becoming endless, the woman cried out.
She and other neighbours searched the neighbourhood but the children and their new neighbour were nowhere to be found.
The mother was faced with the shock of her life when agitated neighbours decided to break into the new tenants’ room and they discovered that the room was empty, an implication that the two new tenants planned the abduction and had taken away their few belongings before fleeing with the children.
The father of the missing children, Dauda Saliu, told PUNCH Metro that the ladies moved into a one-roomed apartment in the area barely two weeks ago.
Saliu said since the ladies packed in, Godiya had been giving gifts to his children and he had not been comfortable with the situation but he could not stop it because of the nature of his job which usually took him away from home for the better part of the day.
The troubled father said, “I was not at home when the incident happened. It happened around 6pm yesterday (Wednesday). Their mother was praying while the youngest child was crying, and one of the ladies took them with her under the guise that she wanted to buy biscuits for them. Other people in the community saw my children with one of them but did not suspect anything because she was always playing with them.
“When it was taking long and they did not return, my wife called on the ladies and knocked on their door but there was no response. She called on other neighbours who broke their door only to discover that their room was empty.
“I knew one of them was usually buying biscuits and drinks for my children and I was never comfortable with the idea. I work as a security guard and because of the nature of my job which is always taking me away from home, my warnings against that were not effective. This would not have happened if they heeded my words.
“The ladies are new; we only know the name of one of them who introduced herself as Godiya. It is painful this has happened to me.”
Saliu also regretted that efforts made to get the ladies’ details from the landlord had not yielded results.
“We have contacted the landlord when the incident happened to see if we could trace them but he doesn’t have their details. He told us they were yet to fill out the needed forms. We are currently at the Bako Police Station to report the matter,” he added.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, said she had not been briefed on the matter.