The Permanent Secretary in the Taraba State Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Susana Jonathan, has been abducted by unknown gunmen, it was learnt yesterday.

Mrs. Jonathan was allegedly abducted from her home at ATC in Jalingo, the state capital, at about 2:17am, residents told reporters.

The news came barely five days after the Deputy Registrar of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, Mr. Sanusi Sa’ad, was kidnapped in the university’s quarters, a few meters from the house of the abducted permanent secretary.

Residents said the gunmen stormed the house and shot sporadically into the air before taking her away to an unknown destination.

The Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, a Deputy Superintended of Police (DSP), said no complaint had been lodged by from Mrs Jonathan’s family.

DSP Misal said: “From the intelligence report we have received, the woman is nowhere to be found, but we are yet to receive any official report regarding the incident.

“We want to call on the public not to be afraid of reporting any security threat promptly to security agencies to enable us take proactive measures.”

The State Police Command had on May 1 refuted the report that Jalingo was besieged by kidnappers, forcing residents to stay indoors as early as 7:30pm daily due to the fear of kidnappers.

Kidnapping is getting common in Taraba, especially Jalingo, the state capital.

Just two weeks ago, two of the wives of the Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s office were kidnapped and released after payment of ransom.

Also yesterday, two rival groups clashed in a gun battle in the varsity town of Ayingba, Dekina Local Government Area. Ismaila Agba, a youth leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was killed.

The immediate cause of hostility could not be established as at the time of filing this report but it was gathered that the unidentified gunmen began shooting indiscriminately from around 10am.

It was learnt that the late APC youth leader, who was also the head of the Kogi East Cashew produce unit of the Revenue Drive department of the state government and chairman of Anyigba-Lagos loading point, died during the exchange of gun fire at Agwudoko.

Some residents alleged that the clash may not be unconnected with the forthcoming governorship election, and a “test rehearsal in the battle of supremacy that lies ahead”.

“We were indoors for hours to avoid being hit by stray bullets. Though the police command moved in when they got wind of the attacks, at a point, we didn’t even know who was in charge as the guns continued to boom unabated,” said a resident.

Confirming the incident, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Williams Aya, said one person died, adding that one Alhassan Idoko was injured.

He said that it was not a political attack, but a case of culpable homicide, perpetrated by unidentified gunmen. “The command is already on their trail,” he added.

According to Aya, policemen were drafted to the scene shortly after the brother of the slain man had reported the matter at the command in the town, adding that normalcy has returned to the affected area.