In this interview, Mr. Nick Ugwu, an Abuja-based businessman who was kidnapped in January during a visit to his hometown of Eha-Amufu, in the Isi-Uzo local government area of Enugu state, speaks with RAPHAEL EDE of the terrifying experience
You were reportedly abducted in January in Enugu when you returned home for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. How did it happen?
On January 13th I was still in the village after the Christmas and New Year celebrations. I took my family to visit friends and it was after visiting the Anglican bishop of Eha-Amufu and we were walking out of the bishop’s court that the incident happened around 7pm. Some young people, about five in number, opened fire on my car. The car stopped because the tires, windshield and some other parts were destroyed. They fell on us. They did not touch my wife and children, but they took me and ordered me to lie down.
After a while they asked me how much I had in my bank account. I told them we had been home since Christmas and I didn’t have much on my account.
What happened then?
They told me to call some of my rich friends. I told them that our people are not rich. They threatened that they would kill me if I couldn’t call anyone to get the money. So, I told them to let me call my pastor friend, a bishop.
Did the bishop answer your call?
Yes he did. They then began to negotiate with the bishop. They demanded a ransom of N10m. That same night, we slept and on the second day we started making calls to see if our people could raise anything (money). When that didn’t happen, on the third day, they gave my people an ultimatum to collect N5m, threatening that if they didn’t hand over the money they would bury me in the forest. So everyone, including the church and the city union, contributed.
Did they eventually raise the N5m?
As God would have liked, the amount our people were able to raise, they (the kidnappers) accepted it and released me after the third day.
How would you describe your captors?
They were all Fulani boys. They were five in number and were armed with three AK-47 rifles and machetes.
What was it like for you to be held by these people in the forest for about three days?
It was a horrible experience, but we thank God for life. What I noticed was that they were having a field day, there was no one to challenge them. My opinion is that after that #EndSARS protest, our police are no longer the same. Not as responsive as they were in the past, coupled with bad roads here, this community has become a safe haven for Fulani bandits. Aside from my case, the Fulani herdsmen have long been carrying out their criminal activities unchallenged. And the police and the government are aware of this.
Source: The PUNCH
[ http://www.neduwealth.com/2021/07/my-abductors-insisted-on-n5m-ransom.html https://d26toa8f6ahusa.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/30214746/a-quiet-place-part-2-bigs-16.pdf