Chinyere, 16-year-old, who was kidnapped by suspected Fulani herdsmen, has narrated how she and her co-travellers were abducted at Okada junction along the Benin-Ore expressway in Edo State.
Chinyere revealed that she was held for five days as the suspected herdsmen tortured the men in their midst with all sorts of weapons. The matter has been reported at the Edo State Police Command HQ in Benin.
The young tenager, who is from Abia state, told newsmen that they were released after paying different sums as ransom.
Chinyere made it known that she was going to write for the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) at the Abia State University, Uturu, when the sad incident happened.
“I boarded a Sienna vehicle at the Volks motor park in Badagry, Lagos State, and we embarked on the journey around 8am. When we gor to Okada junction around 6pm, we saw two tankers blocking a side of the express road.
“Suddenly, some men came out of the bush wielding guns, sticks and cutlasses. Our driver saw them from afar, opened the door and ran away. Three other passengers also fled. Those people then came and took us away. Four of us were abducted that day.
“We trekked a long distance into the bush. We were camped in an open space. By night, they started calling our family members with our phones. They gave us the phones to talk to them so that our families would know our condition. They demanded N10m from each of our families.
“My set was abducted on Saturday. On Sunday, the abductors came with more people; we were eight in number (five females and three males). They tortured the men a lot with their big cow sticks. They did not do anything to the females.
When asked how she knew they were Fulani, she said, “Their language, they were six and fully armed. Each of them had a gun. They communicated more with each other in their language, but spoke occasionally to us in English. At a point, they started saying they were tired of keeping us and they needed to go and abduct more people.
“Shortly after they abducted the second set of victims, we heard gunshots bwtween them and the police. It lasted for about one and half hours. We learnt that they killed a policeman during the exchange of fire.
”In the end, they collected N200,000 each from the families of three of us. A Yoruba Muslim man paid N50,000. Two sisters, who were abducted with their friend, paid N1.5m and were released earlier than the rest of us. One lady, who told them that she was an orphan and without any relative, was freed without any ransom, because there was nobody to call,” she narrated.
Chinyere disclosed that the herdsmen asked the families to pay the money into the account of the relative of one of the victims, who lives in Benin, and the woman was then instructed to bring all the money.
The Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, is yet to respond to questions on the incident as at press time.