Three out of the four Muslim leaders kidnapped in Rivers State escaped from the kidnappers den at the Ibaa bush in Emohua local government area on Saturday, December 16 and with no ransom paid.
Fear has however gripped the family of the still missing victim identified as Alhaji Bello Usman.
Alhaji Usman who is in his late 50s, according to information available to this magazine was abandoned by the kidnappers in the bush on Thursday night after he collapsed thrice whilehe was being dragged to the abductors hideout in Ibaa bush.
Among those who managed to escape from the kidnappers’ den is Alhaji Mukadam Aliyu Abdulhamid, the of General Secretary of The Tijaniyah Brotherhood in Rivers State.
On how the Muslim leaders escaped, a close source to the Tijaniyah Brotherhood in Rivers confided in our correspondent that: “The kidnappers took them to blindfolded to their hideout in Ibaa bush.
“When got to the hideout which may have been an uncompleted building, they were blindfolded with their hands and legs tied.
Their abductors fed them with ‘Akara (bean cakes ),bread and water.”
In the middle of the night, the victims shopped hearing noise from their abductors.
The victims then started shouting for water to drink, at least to draw the attention of their abductors and also to ascertain their presence but to no avail”
Almost sure that the kidnappers had left left them temporarily, according to the account, one of them started struggling to loose the rope they used to bind them. Luckily,one of them succeeded and help others to set themselves free and also remove the blindfolds.
“Mustering all the energies in them, they started trekking inside the the bush trying to navigate their way.
“Fortunately, they heard the sound of Church (name withheld) where members were having night vigil singing, clapping and playing drums. They trekked towards the direction of the Church.”
“After explaining that they were muslim leaders who were kidnapped on their way to perform some of the religious activities, the church members thanked God for their miraculous escape, gave them food, water and provided convenience for them to bath.They also provided phones to contact both their families and the security, especially the Army.”
Soldiers eventually came and carried them to Port Harcourt, but dropped them off at the Rumuokoro roundabouts at about 4 pm and gave them N2,000 as transport fare to their various homes.
Confirming the escape of the muslim three of the leaders, Khalifah Murtala Sulaiman Abdulsalam, who also a Chief Imam and leader of The Tijaniyah Brotherhood of Islam Rivers State said the victims were alerted of their miraculous escape and how some church members took care of them.
He stated Alhaji Mukadam Aliyu Abdulhamid who is the General Secretary of th Islamic sect was among those who escaped. Others are: Alhaji Ibrahim Baba, and Alhaji Bashir, a mechanic.
Khalifa Abdulsalam expressed fear over the fourth victim, Alhaji Usman.
“We are concerned of the whereabouts of Alhaji Bello Usman after who collapsed three times and was abandoned in bush.
“As I speak to you, we are at Elele Police Station to see how the Police could help trace the whereabouts of Alhaji Bello Usman. We pray for him to be alive.