IT IS NOT EVERYBODY that is kidnapped that will be alive to narrate his experience as Adebayo  Eletu, who was taken hostage by these  men of the underworld was as he narrates his experience to our man, Danusa Ocholi For Adebayo  Eletu,  a mechanical engineer with Dangote Cement Company , Obajana, Kogi state in North Central geopolitical zone of the country, he has every cause to thank God Almighty for being alive today. He literally passed through the “valley of the shadow of death” in the hands of notorious kidnappers who held him captive for three days. His ordeal started about six days to Christmas, precisely on December 19, while he was returning from the journey he embarked upon from Jos, in Plateau state, and on that day, he was in a hurry to meet up his work schedule as a committed staff. He was expected to resume work about 7pm.In his drive to meet up the demand of the office on the fateful day, he was driving himself in his Camry salon car , and he arrived  Lokoja, the  Kogi state’s capital on time and he was quite delighted that he  was on the last lap of his journey to the Cement Company, his place of work when he reached Kabba Junction. It never occurred to him that danger was lurking ahead of him. He said;” I arrived Kabba Junction also in good time, but I was on my way from Kabba Junction to Obajana when six masked men, that was  about 5pm,  who were heavily armed with AK-47 automatic  rifles in military uniform suddenly  jumped from the bush to the  road, and started
shooting at my direction, Initially I thought they were robbers. There was little I could do in the circumstance I found myself. They came for me, and picked me with a lady from an oncoming car. They kidnapped us and took us into the bush.” They had to trek far into the bush for the next three hours from about 5 pm to 8pm to an unknown destination. But when the hoodlums brought their victims to their cell, the criminals started torturing them. “The first thing they did was to chain us, after which they started beating us with sticks. They did not give me opportunity to talk with anybody on the first day of our captivity. They used the phone of the lady they kidnapper’s phone. I learnt that the lady in question with me works with Kogi State Education Board. She looks like a person in her 30s.She was coming from Lokoja , where she works and was on her way from where she took  her professional examination. The vehicle she was in ran into mine, and she was just a passenger in that car. While the other occupants in the vehicle escaped, she was not lucky.” It was on the second day that Mr Eletu  came to know about the ransom being demanded by his kidnappers who were speaking more of Hausa and Fulani.While their beating continued, they revealed to them that they were asking for N15 million ransom. “Each time they spoke to me and my people on the phone, they would threaten to kill me. I heard my wife crying on the phone ass they were threating to kill me,” he added. On the type of food, they were fed it, Eletu disclosed to Nigerian Pilot  Friday  Magazine:  “Throughout the time we were in captivity, we were provided one meal a day; barely enough to keep us alive. Our meal was mashed rice and  beans which they served  us in a Ghana- must-go bag. They would drop it on the
ground, just like that .Our drink was colour water from some dirty ponds within the bush. The Dangote worker added that with the criminals mean looks he thought the end had come for him. “I thought with the type of guns they were holding, and with their menacing looks, that the end had come for me. I knew their thoughts were not empty, and as a result I lost hope of life. I received injuries at my back and hand with the sticks they were using to beat me. I was almost paralyzed as a result of the beating, especially my right hand. Again because of harmattan, we were subjected to severe cold, and our matter was not helped because we were chained. The thought of death was always flashing through my mind. But within myself, I was praying earnestly that God Almighty should spare my life. I gathered later that my family was also not sleeping. They organized prayers and vigil for me.” According to Eletu, “these men, kidnappers, are highly organized. Apart from ensuring that we were chained so that we could not do anything, they did a sort of roster on their men that kept watch on us. They were rotating themselves. Of course they restricted their interaction with us. Nothing like interaction. They were there strictly on business and would only call us when they would want us to talk with our family, especially on payment of ransom.” Relief came Mr Eletu  and the other lady that was capture’s way when they were left off the hook  on the night of December 21. This was made possible after ransom for their freedom was paid. He said he will remain ever grateful to his elder brother, Tunji Eletu, who played a frontal role in his release. He hlped in paying his ransom . He said,” we were taken back inside the bush with another long walk after our release. Of course I did not bath for the number of days I was in captivity, and my condition is better imagined than stated. There was no bathing, and no good weather to drink.” He added” “They gave me back my phone after our release. I was released with the other lady as well.  I called my wife after our release about midnight on December 21.My brother came for me about 11:45 pm on that day. He had all along been in town, precisely at Kabba Junction. He was the one that dropped the ransom, at the spot they told him. The joy of my family in seeing me back, in being reunited with them, especially with Christmas a few days away knew no bound.” Eletu  told Nigerian Pilot Friday Magazine  that he  is  lost in thought why the Nigeria Police and other security agencies have not done anything tangible  to arrest the situation on the Kabba-Obajana road, which is notorious for robbery and kidnapping,These men reign supreme there with their nefarious activities. “That area is a constant spot for thse bad guys.So far our security agents are not proactive on the route; particularly  on the number of people that pass there. Many travellers from Kogi and other parts of the country who travel to Ekiti and other parts of South-west pass through the place. “ He said that from his experience with the men of the underworld, “facts on the ground point to the fact that they work with informants, insiders who provide them valuable information about their targets. They provide them information about the  type of cars that pass, the occupants, and their status.They are mindful about the type of people they go.For example, a few weeks ago, they kidnapped two bankers. The victim has resumed duty with his employer, D angote Cement, at Obajana, and till date he is trying to put the trauma of his ordeal behind him. “I have just resumed work and up till today, I am still wondering about what happened to me. The psychological effect on me is overbearing. I am undergoing psychological treatment as a result of what I went through. I would always sleep and wake with the trauma. Anytime I pass through that spot where I was kidnapped, I get scared. The thought of the guns they were holding and their menacing looks would flash through my memory. He said when he went to Lokoja, the police who suspected that he was a victim of kidnap kept his  car in safe custody  at their station .He said everything humanly possible must be done by various government and agencies to bring this trending crime which has brought so much losses and hardships to Nigeria to an end, or minimal control. “Many Nigerians are being robbed and kidnapped virtually on daily basis and something must be done about this ugly trend. We should not allow our able- bodied men and women to be sacrificed by these hoodlums with their hard-earned resources and in most cases the resources of their relatives who are taxed to pay ransom to ensure their relatives are kept alive” Eletu concluded

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