Mr. Francis Odo who was abducted by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Eha-Amufu, Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, has said the herders told them that they would continue kidnapping until leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, stop his agitation for Biafra.
Odo who narrated his ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers in an interview with PUNCH, said they were abducted by the AK-47 wielding herders who said they were members of Boko Haram around around 7pm on Wednesday, June 9.
According to him, “I was on a motorcycle with two other guys coming home to Agu-Amaede from the camp in Eha-Amufu. We were stopped by four men, flashing their torches in our faces. As we made to run back, three other men with guns surfaced behind us, pointing the guns at us. They rounded us up and led us into a nearby bush, where five other men were keeping watch over two victims, earlier kidnapped.”
Odo told PUNCH that the kidnappers kept telling them that they were Boko Haram members and were responsible for an attack in Egedegede in Ebonyi State where they killed many people, and that they would keep doing so until Biafra agitation is stopped.
“They kept telling us that they were Boko Haram members and that they were the ones who attacked a village called Egedegede in Ebonyi State where they killed many people. They said they would keep kidnapping our people and collecting money until our people stop talking about Biafra, and that anyone whose people failed to pay would be killed,” he said.
“They also said we should call Nnamdi Kanu so that we would regain our freedom. They said Nnamdi Kanu had been deceiving us to agitate for Biafra and asking that Fulani people should go from the East. They said once they see Nnamdi Kanu, Igbo problems would be over.
“We told them we didn’t know Nnamdi Kanu, not to talk of having his phone number, and that he was not from our village. That response got us some heavy beating.”
Odo said himself and five others were abducted by the kidnappers who at some point took them to a village in Benue State
“We were six in number. We were kidnapped on Wednesday and they took us to a community in Benue State. On Thursday by 4 am, they brought us back to the railway where they shared money the previous day. It was there that I called my elder brother and told him that I had been kidnapped. They spoke with my brother and told him to bring N5m.”
“They also told us to call our state governor to come and pay for our freedom. They asked us the name of our local government chairman, but we said we didn’t know.”
Another abducted victim, Mr Nick Ugwu, an Abuja based business who was kidnapped when he visited his hometown of Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo, told PUNCH that his kidnappers were Fulani guys and threatened to bury him in the forest if he didn’t pay N5m ransom.
Ugwu said he was abducted on January 13 after Christmas and New Year celebrations when he took his family to visit friends “and it was after visiting the Anglican Bishop of Eha-Amufu and we were leaving the Bishop’s Court that the incident happened around 7pm.”
Asked to describe the kidnappers, he said, “They were all Fulani guys. They were five in number and were armed with three AK-47 rifles and machetes.”
Ugwu said he was freed because, “as God would have it, the amount our people were able to raise, they (kidnappers) accepted it and released me after the third day.”