Our kidnappers took 100m, claim they will take our land, Methodist Prelate speaks
By Jude Okezie
The Methodist Church Nigeria Prelate, His Eminence Samuel Kanu Uche has said that he paid N100m to secure freedom after he was seized by abductors on Sunday.
He said the kidnappers were about 18 years and above while their leader was about 35 years. He said they told him they have their members stationed across forests in Nigeria while they specifically mentioned Lagos-Ibadan expressway as a place they currently occupy.
He was and the Bishop of Owerri Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark and the Prelate’s chaplain were kidnapped in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia state.
He said their kidnappers were Fulani and they claimed they were fighting the government for undisclosed reasons.
He said :They are Fulani boys. All are Fulanis. They said the day they will see the President or any of his representatives they will chew him raw. That he is their brother but he has disappointed them and has disappointed Nigeria.”
He said at a press conference on Tuesday :These people came out from the bush. They divided themselves into thre places; some people fired at us and there was another group in front to make sure that we didn’t run away. They fired shots at our vehicle and eventually, they abducted three of us.”
He said in the mayhem that came, the communication man of the church and the driver escaped while he and the bishop of Owerri and his chaplain were kidnapped at gun point.
He said they were tortured and brutalised by their abductors.
He spoke further “Even when blood was flowing and I was soaking my eyes with a handkerchief, they didn’t feel like anything happened”
The Clegyman said all they said was that we should follow them, that they were not actually against Nigerian citizens but against the government claiming that the government is bad.
” I said even though am part of government, am a church man am not a government official. They said okay, that is what have saved you, we would have killed you out-rightly without asking for any ransom but now that you are a church man, lets go inside the bush.
“I trekked up.to 15 kilometers but I knew that we were rigmaroling, going up going down and eventually at 11pm they said okay now we can negotiate; each of us will pay N50million and we are going to pay N150million. I thought it was a joke; I said we were going to pay 10million and they said what? Don’t say that; they lifted up their knife to cut me,I said please hold on.”
He said they seized his rings, chain, took the money they had on them yet insisted on 150 million ransom.
“I said okay. We will pay you N100 million. After some time, they said where is the money and I said this is Sunday nighthow can we get money this night and you know that there is this sit at home in igbo land. We cant afford the money now be patient till morning, we will make contacts.”
He said they lost patient. They put down Bishop Dennis Mark, raised a knife to cut him like a goat while another pointed a gun at the Prelate to show that they were serious to slaughter them.
“I told them we will raise the money for you. But the irony of it, where they were situated, the soldiers all of Fulani extraction, Nigerian soldiers, they were there at Lomara junction and these boys were going behind them. Meanwhile they kept their cows somewhere, numbering about 200.
He said some people were in charge of the cows while the abductors were parading around the area they held.
“They said when are you bring the money? I said by 12 noon, I will call the people I’ve contacted whether the money had been raised and I called them, they said that they are gathering the money and they heard it because they said I will use my phone to talk, they cant use their phone, they don’t want to be tracked
He said “their leader was born in Igbo land but his parents have died. He said he was born around Umuahia Amuzukwu and his father was a cow dealer, the boy understood igbo”
He said the leader threatened to murder them if they pass on the information to security operatives after they had raised the N100million.
He said the ring leader instructed the victims to buy five Ghana must Go Bags and put N20million in each bag.
“They left to pick the ransom while four others waited on them with guns. Around 5.0pm, the youngest boy who I think is a younger brother to their commander said oga congratulations you are free you can go now. We have got our money, you can go. Let me show you the road.”
He said further “they took us to old road, where they wrote welcome to Imo’ and ‘goodbye from Abia
Tthey told us that after buying enough weapons, they are going to bring all those people that were driven away from Zamfara, Katsina, Sambisa forest that they are all coming to locate themselves in Igbo land and deal with us.”
The clergy man said “He said do you know Ibadan expressway? We are in all the bush there , we are also in the south south, we are waiting for the slightest signal we will finish you people and take over this land” adding that they claimed that Nigeria belong to Fulani.