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Harrowing Story In Fulani Terrorist Kidnappers Hands: Ransom Payment And Release – Part 4


The Oasis Reporters

May 21, 2018

Screen captures of Fulani herdsmen militia video on circulation in the social media.
By Muta (not real name, but a true life story) Part 4

However between 5.30 and 6.00pm, in came another new face who spoke in quiet excited tones with his pals. I could see them pointing to Chika and myself to him. He told the interpreter to tell us, no matter what happened that day we will go home as the drop off was successful.

It was like a big weight was lifted off my shoulder. For the first time I saw Chika’s sun baked face break into a smile. More new faces surfaced in camp and kept reassuring us we would go home that day.

The mood was however not the same for our fellow kidnappees. Baba Deborah had earlier told pastor to inform them he could raise one million naira. However all the effort by his wife to raise money could only muster a paltry one hundred thousand naira. This angered them greatly, I am sure you know the treatment he got. At some point they told him they would take the one hundred thousand naira and release him, so he can go look for the one million to come release Deborah.

Shola on the other hand had been able to raise about two hundred and thirty thousand naira. I must tell you this guy endured a lot beating before he got to that amount. His story is pathetic. He said he is a transporter and had lost his car to thieves. He didn’t have any means of livelihood so raising money was very difficult for him.

In fact his wife had to quickly sell off some of his properties for him to get to that figure. Pastor Ajayi’s case was the most pathetic. Tried as he could to get his people to help him out, nothing tangible came in. it was only on the second day that someone promised to help with just fifty thousand naira.

Though I was in high spirit that my ordeal would soon end, the thought of what would happen to the ones we were leaving behind haunted me.

At about 7.30pm, it was already dark and we were just about getting set to go to the open space for the night when two new faces appeared in camp. They beckoned on me, Delight and Chika. They handed us two thousand naira each and informed us that we were going home.

I was elated. I tried to hold hands with Pastor Ajayi to give him some form of comfort, but I was urged to move on. We had three of them for company. One had an AK47 and the other a cutlass, the third one just tagged along.

They had suddenly become friendly. Their faces were not masked. Even though there was a communication barrier, they tried to make us feel at home. The terrain was undulating and darkness did not help matter. Delight took a tumble severally. At some point one of them had to hold her hands for support to keep her steady. we also had to rest twice to catch our breath.

We stopped by a mango tree and helped ourselves with freshly fallen mango. We were all smiling with each other. It was hard to imagine these were the same guys who were torturing us just a while ago.

After trekking for about three hours we knew we were close to the main road because we could make out headlights of cars coming and going. They stopped at a distance away from the road and handed us one of their torch lights and urged us on.
That was the first sign that I had regained freedom. We trekked for another 30 minutes before getting to the main road. It was as if a huge weight had been taken off my shoulder. Even though I didn’t know where I was, i was confident I had gone past the most dangerous part of this ordeal.

We were actually left in the middle of nowhere. There were no towns or villages close by, and this was about past 10pm. Obviously no transporter would stop to carry you in the middle of nowhere. So we decided to look for the nearest town or village. After trekking for another 10 minutes or thereabout, we got to Idu town.

We saw a group of teenagers whom we narrated our ordeal to and they took us to the community chairman. The first thing I asked for was a phone. I immediately put a call to my wife. From the shouts of joy in the background you could tell my house was full with sympathisers waiting for the news of my release.

The villagers were kind. They had brought food and water and were offering to house us for the night. But we told them our people were close by. I also got in touch with my brother who had been in Abaji all afternoon waiting to hear from me.
Chika’s folks were also in Abaji waiting for her release. Once we got through to them they found their way to Idu town and picked us.

Once I was in the car I took my brothers phone and placed another call to my wife, I told her how I missed her and the kids, then as I was about to drop the call I mentioned my car. if only I knew what had happened to my car, I questioned.

My wife has a very sarcastic way of laughing when she wants to troll you. Once I heard that laugh I knew my car was safe. She started, “look at you, so you want to start looking for your car this night” in between laughs. “Just go and rest for the night your car is safe, your phone is ok and in good hands. But you won’t know who that person is until you are properly rested” she concluded.

As the car gathered speed, it was reassuring to sit on something soft again and feel the freshness of the night breeze.

The two most torturous period for my family and loved ones were the period immediately after the kidnap when no one knew what had happened to me then just before and after the ransom had been paid. These events were reported to me and I feel it should form part of the story. This will form the concluding and final part of my kidnap story…..

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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