A non-preaching Pastor of the Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapter in the Bwari Area Council of Abuja and one of the travellers abducted recently by suspected Fulani herdsmen along Ekpoma/Bennin road in Edo State has narrated his horrible experience while in captivity.
It was gathered that the they were kidnapped on March 27 and were released on the first week of April. It was learnt that their vehicle was intercepted by no fewer than 8 suspected Fulani militias while travelling to Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The victims shared their experience with Daily Post in an exclusive interview.
He narrated, “I was travelling from Abuja to Benin on March 27 to celebrate Easter with my family, so when we reached Irekpe along Ekpoma/Benin road at about 8 pm, suddenly we saw torchlights that looked like police checkpoint from a nearby bush running close to our vehicle and shooting sporadically.”
“We were first robbed inside the bush before they ordered us to follow them in one single line; we walked five kilometres deep into the forest.”
“When we arrived at the hideout, the first thing I saw was burnt human bodies all over the place. The leader of the group later explained to us that the bodies were those abducted but their families could not respond to their demands (ransom).”
When asked by the interviewer how much was demanded from them, he said, “Initially, they demanded three million Naira ransom from each of us. We were actually 9 persons in the vehicle including the driver but the kidnappers asked three Fulani men among us to go just before we were taken to the forest but the driver was also set free the same night without ransom.”
“My family members and other well-wishers started negotiating until they accepted N1.5 million from each of us”.
When asked if he was tortured by the militias, he said, “My fellow victims were tortured mercilessly, treated like animals but my own case was divine. I don’t know how it happened but they identified me as a man of God and they treated me specially. They allowed me to observe my prayers.
I was moved by the spirit of God to speak to the leader so he could repent; I told him that if he could channel the same energy to something that can benefit the general society, it would be better for him than staying in the forest.”
“He miraculously knelt down and asked for prayers, stating that he was tired of the business. They always referred to kidnapping as a business.”
“According to him, he had tried to stop but sometime ago, the Nigerian Army invaded his village in Katsina State, burnt his house, cows and other property which led to the continuation of his kidnapping business.”
“Like I said, I prayed and counselled him and he vowed that the operation was going to be the last he is involved in. He further revealed to me that he usually feels guilty after every operation.”
When asked if there was any intervention from the Edo State government or any security agency, he said, “There was no intervention from anywhere. We decided not to involve the police for our own safety. It was after our release that we were informed that the Edo State Police Command had received the report.”