Fulani Kidnappers Working With Military, Picked N100m Ransom With A Truck- Methodist Prelate
Prelate of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu-Uche has told the story of his abduction and eventual release from the abductors. He said God saved him, the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, and the Prelate’s Chaplain, Very Rev. Abidemi Jeremiah Shittu, in the hands of kidnappers.
They were abducted on Sunday in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State and released on Monday after the payment N100 million ransom, arranged in five sacks.
The Prelate, who said their abductors were ‘Fulani boys’, accused some security agents of working with the terrorists.
Speaking at the Methodist Church, Yaba, Lagos, Kanu-Uche, whose right eye was swollen, revealed that the Fulani boys told him other terrorists were already in the forests of South-East, South-South and South-West, waiting for signals to strike.
He said: “These people came from the bush. They divided themselves into three. 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.
“The communication man of the church was able to escape, the driver was able to escape. They abducted me, the Bishop of Owerri and my Chaplain and took us to the bush and were torturing us. It was in the process of that torture that I hit my right eye on a tree. Even when blood was flowing and I was soaking my eyes with handkerchief, they didn’t feel like anything happened.
“All they said was that we should follow them. That they were not actually against Nigerian citizens but against the government, that the government is a bad government.
“They are Fulani boys. All the eight are Fulani. 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.
”I said even though I am part of government, I am a church man, I am not a government official. They said okay, that is what have saved you, we would have killed you outrightly without asking for any ransom but now that you are a church man, let’s 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 N50 million and we are going to pay N150 million. I thought it was a joke; I said we were going to pay N10 million and they said what? Don’t say that; they lifted up their knife to cut me, I said please hold on.”
The Prelate said the leader of the group “is about 35 years while the others are about 18”.
He said they took his rings, chain, took the money they had on them and insisted on N150 million ransom.
The cleric said the abductors eventually agreed to N100 million ransom, warning that if they negotiate, they would be killed.
“I said Okay. We will pay you N100 million. After some time, they said where is the money and I said this is Sunday night, how can we get money this night and you know that there is this sit at home in Igbo land. We can’t afford the money now. Be patient till morning, we will make contacts.”
He said he was afraid when the terrorists lost patience, laid Bishop Mark down, raised a knife to cut him, while another pointed a gun at him (Prelate) to show that they were serious.
“I told them we would raise the money. 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.
“Some people were taking care of the cows while the abductors were parading us around the bush until we settled at a place.
“They asked ‘when are you bringing 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 can’t use their phone, they don’t want to be tracked.
“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 language”.
He said the leader threatened to kill them if they informed security operatives when they had raised the N100 million.
“The leader asked them to buy five Ghana must go bags and put N20 million in each bag. They left to pick the ransom while four others waited on us with guns.
“Around 5:30pm, 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.
“They took us to old road, where they wrote ‘Welcome to Imo’ and ‘Goodbye from Abia”.
“They 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.
“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. They claimed that Nigeria belongs to Fulani.
“Military personnel of Fulani extraction are aiding the kidnappers who disguise as herders in the daytime but are kidnappers at night”.
He called on the government to take a decisive action “otherwise, what is happening in the North will be a child’s play”
On how they picked up the ransom, he said the terrorists picked it up at a spot with a truck without a number plate.
He stated that all efforts made to ensure that he, the Bishop and Chaplain were released were of the Methodist Church and her members and not security personnel or government.