By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Emmanuella Anyawu, one of the five victims kidnapped last Saturday has narrated her ordeal in the hands of their abductors and how she miraculously escaped from the kidnappers’ den.
The same gang of kidnappers killed Felix Olajide Sowore, the younger brother of Saharareporters’ publisher, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore, a pharmacy student of Igbinedion University, Okada, drove into the scene and was shot dead by the rampaging kidnappers who subsequently abducted five victims, three male and two female at bout 6.45 am around Isuwa community, by Morgan Farm, along Benin-Lagos highway.
The middle-aged woman who spoke to journalists on Monday, in Benin, at the Edo State Police Command headquarters, said she and the others abducted persons were passengers traveling from Lagos to one of the Eastern states on that fateful day when their vehicle broke down at the junction.
She said they had to pass the night inside their vehicle there in the bush, until about 6:30 am.
According to her, some men suddenly emerged from the bush and started shooting sporadically, after which they gunmen abducted all of them and take them to the bush.
“At about 6.30am to 7:00am, some men came out from the bush and started shooting at us, and we all surrendered. They took our belongings, including our phones and matched us into the bush. It took us almost two hours to get to their camp. They blind folded us.
“So, they started calling us one after the other, and I was the last person they called. They asked me where I was coming from and where I was going. I told them that I was coming from Lagos and going to Imo State.
“They asked if I know them, I said no. They asked if I know the police and army, I told them I know those ones. They told me they were kidnappers, and said they abducted me because of ransom. They said if I don’t have money they will take my life.
“I asked them how much they wanted. But one of them was furious I was asking them questions. I told them I needed to know the ransom. They asked if I had N10 million and I told them there was no way to get that kind of money. I told them I will give them N500,000 from money gathered from my village. One of them said I was a fool and they told me to sit down,” she narrated.
Speaking on how she escaped, Anyanwu explained that a particular victim they brought, from whom they collected something, caused a distraction that gave her a narrow escaped.
She narrated, “Then, it started raining heavily, and they went away and brought one man again. They took something from that man and their attention was on it.
“So, I removed my blind fold and decided to escape, but I decided to shift the plan till midnight, but my spirit told me to escape because I would not have the opportunity to do so in the night, because the abductors don’t sleep in the night. I crept and that was how I escaped.”
On how she find her route to Benin City, the victim said, “I saw a [communication] mast far away, and I started treking toward it. After one hour or more, I got to a road and saw an elderly man on motorcycle and I asked him to take me to the police station, which he did. We were two ladies and three men.”
Meanwhile, the Command’s spokesman, SP Kontongs Bello, has said that efforts are ongoing to secure the release of the remaining victims.