1st June, 2019
A clergyman, Rev. Z.O. Olarewaju of ECWA Church Iyah-Gbede, Kogi State in this interview with Richard Elesho narrates his experience with kidnappers
Q: We understand that you were a victim of kidnapping by some bandits. Can you let us into details of your experience?
It happened on a Wednesday. I was on my farm for brief inspection because the church was mourning. My intention was just to go and supply food and water to the labourers on the farm. So I decided to take my car so that it would be faster. On getting to the farm, I resolved to leave my local gun in the car.
Anybody that knows my land knows it is a flat plain land that I have developed to tractor operator. It was a free land but to my surprise I didn’t see them until they were very close to me, I quickly ran towards my car to carry my local gun but already two people were already in the car. Then four or five of them confronted me. So I picked up a very large stick from the ground and used it to hit the closest person to me, to the extent he got injured. All of them gathered on me and put me on the floor. They gave me the beating of my life. I started screaming for help but no one could hear me. As I was shouting they tied my hands.
Did they shoot?
Yes, seriously. They fired several times possibly to scare people away. They first of all cut me with their cutlass about three times but I didn’t know what deflcted it from seriously cutting me. They then used a stick to hit my head. I felt very weak and they started moving me into the bush very close to my farm. As they were going, moving into other peoples farm would have been easy. They kept hiding me in the bush till evening around 7pm. We started moving; as we were moving they started asking me if I knew some places I had to lie saying no. Then they took me to the main road and asked which street was this but I lied. They also asked if I understood Hausa, I said no. As we continued moving they told me that my kidnapping was on contract.
They claimed that they were sent to kill me. But I knew that it was a lie and that they only wanted to scare me. They then asked how much do I have in my account and I said that it was only forty thousand that was in my account and that it was even a loan just sent to me, so that I could use it to pay my children school fees. One of them then shouted that they needed N20 million and that they would give N10 million out of the money to the person that sent them.
We then moved from Iya-Gbede bush to Mopa road. I knew when we crossed Iluhagba road to the other side. At Iluhagba area there was an informal settlement. I saw peoples properties like women’s cloths and other things in the bush.
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