By; BAKA B. BITRUS, Minna
The Police Command in Niger State is investigating the disappearance of two teenage girls from Gwada in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state who have been missing from their home since May this year.
The two teenage girls, Miracle Nweke, (17) and Okwudiri Nwodo, (16) were local stewards in a restaurant in Gwada town before their sudden disappearance from their place of business.
The two teenage girls are of Igbo extraction and were engaged by Ndubuisi Sunday and his wife to serve as staff in their restaurant.
The two girls had a left home one morning for their place of work at the restaurant sometimes in May this year but they neither got to the restaurant nor returned home after the day’s business and have been missing since then.
After an initial search for the girls didn’t yield any result, the unusual development led the girls’ employers to report the disappearance of the two girls to the Police at the Divisional Police Station in Gwada on May, 27th this year.
While the Police were yet to turn in any finding, Ndubisi continued with his search and inquiry for the whereabouts of the two young girls within Gwada, Shiroro and beyond.
He was said to have spread his manhunt to the eastern parts of the country where he brought the girls from and enjoined his relatives to help in looking out for the girls should they have relocated back home on their own.
Back at Gwada, the Ndubuis launched aggressive search for the missing girls and even asked his brethren in Minna through their association of Ndigbo to help in passing the information about the missing girls.
And as information about the disappearance of the two girls spread, a possible lead was opened after weeks of fruitless search.
Ndubuis had through tact, persuasion and appeal, used some of the young boys who were also working for him in his business outfit got a lead on the possible whereabouts of the two girls.
The lead paid up when one of the boys opened up and told Ndubuisi Sunday that one of his colleagues had once discussed with someone on phone about the girls being moved from Gwada to Suleja.
Further inquiries and prodding hinted that the two girls were to be married out soon as they may have been converted into Islam by the person behind their abduction.
The boy had mentioned one Shamsudeen as the mastermind of the disappearance of the two girls from Gwada. And Ndubuis promptly returned to the Police with his latest information.
The suspect, Shamsudeen was arrested by the Police as principal suspect. He was said to have confessed his involvement in the disappearance of the two girls and allegedly told the Police that the two were about to be converted to Islam and be given out for marriage in Suleja.
With this information, Ndubuisi had rushed to to Suleja to launch further investigations about the location of the girls based on the clue given to him.
Sources said Ndubuisi’s search was narrowed to particular place around the Palace of the Emir in the Suleja but due to some cultural and traditional barriers, he could not gain entrance into the place tried as much as he did.
Ndubuisi who has been under intense pressure by the parents of the two girls back at home in the east, has been upbeat to get to the roots of the matter behind the abduction of the girls.
Sources said Ndubuisi was simply told that the girls had agreed to become Muslims and would thereafter be given out in marriage to willing suitors in Suleja any moment soon.
And as all entreaties by Ndubuisi failed, he later moved out of the area and met one Habib Madaki along Victory road in the heart of Suleja town.
Ndubuisi said Madaki had told him that he was the leader of an Islamic group, Niger State Muslim Enhancement Organisation and had also acknowledged being in the know of the whereas of the two girls.
But all entreaties to allow Ndubuisi meet the girls was turned down. Ndubisi said
Habib had told him that he was under strict instructions from a higher authority in the state not to release the girls or allow anyone, including their employers or benefactor have access to them.
Distraught Ndubuisi later returned to the Police with his sad narratives even as he asked for justice and the return of the girls.
The Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), for Niger State Police Command, Mohammed Abubarkar has confirmed that Miracle and Okwudiri were ‘abducted’ from Gwada and taken to Suleja by one Shamsudeen and others still at large. He said the Police were still on their investigations.
The PPRO confirmed that “on the 28th of May, 2018, one Ndubuisi Sunday had reported that two teenage girls living with him were missing from his house at Gwada.
He said while the Police were on the matter, Ndubuisi came back to inform them that he had found those who were privy to the disappearance of the two girls from where they were working for him in Gwada,
“On 23rd July, 2018, Ndubuisi came back to the station again to update the Police that he has got clues to the whereabouts of Miracle and Okwudiri. He told the Police that one Shamsudeen Bashir, a 29 year old man and Awwal Abubarkar both from Sokoto state were behind the disappearance of the two girls.
The prime suspect, Shamsudeen Bashir was invited and he is in Police custody and have confessed to his involvement in the kidnap of Okwudiri and Miracle according to the PPRO who also added added that the Police has also intensified manhunt for others linked to the case.
He said investigation was still ongoing but could not say anything on the alleged involvement of the emirate or the authorities there.
Meanwhile the Igbo community in Gwada and Minna have decried the increasing wave of abduction of their young girls and forceful conversation to the religion of Islam by some persons.