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Edo Women

An Ordeal In The Hands Of Kidnappers

With Queeneth Aikhionbare last update 20-07-2011

Virtually every home in Benin is now conversant with the word ‘Kidnapped”. It is a vice that suddenly found its way into the society and has refused to go. The funny thing is that it is no longer a thing to be feared by the rich and mighty only. Even the poor ones are being kidnapped. I learnt that a vulcanizer’s son was kidnapped, and a ransom of N84,000 was demanded. Of course at the end of the day the kidnappers would settle for less – maybe N20,000.

According to a colleague of mine, people are now being kidnapped for ransom as low as N10,000, recharge cards, and what have you. The possibility of being kidnapped for ridiculous amounts and reasons are endless. They say it is more convenient than armed robbery, as you don’t need to break into any house only to discover that there is no money.

This scourge has become so lucrative to the perpetrators that in one of the eastern states, a man’s wife was kidnapped and while he was about going to pay the ransom, he was also kidnapped.

Eventually they kidnapped a third member of the family and demanded for a ransom, three times the initial amount when they had just the wife. It was a game plan, and they succeeded in getting so much from the family. Let’s not forget that many innocent people have died in the course of these kidnapping.

And who are these kidnappers? They are the people you and I see on the streets. They pass you by on a daily basis looking for one detail or the other, to enable them carry out their evil acts.

Sometimes they are close friends or relatives to their nations, just out to get money at all costs.
On the 29th of November, at about 4 p.m. Miss Isimeme Onome, Ejodame, the Special Adviser to governor’s wife on NGOs was kidnapped by some gunmen. When this happened, she was in the company of two other ladies – her friends.

The gunmen blocked her car with bikes. On seeing them, she quickly threw her ATM and identity cards on the ground, and equally memorised the plate number of the vehicle bundled them into which turned out to be quite useful later.

According to Isimeme, the kidnappers about 8 men with guns went through Ogida, Evbotubu, to some bushy area, and kept riding into the thicker bush. They told them (Isimeme and her friends) not to worry that they would soon get to their destination; but they rode for hours.

Meanwhile there were no check points from Plymouth Road to Ogida. They got to where vehicles could no longer pass and board them on bike.

They noticed some signboards bearing NPP6, NPP9. They finally got to Ikoro village which was their last bus stop.

On getting there, they declared that they were Niger-Delta militants and started shooting guns. The ladies were put on bamboo to spend the night, and the next morning were taken into the thicker forest.

After some time, they asked the ladies and others who were also kidnapped to call their family members or anyone they know. Then, the show began. They bragged and said a whole lot of things. They claimed it was their cell that kidnapped Bob Izua and that they were also planning on kidnapping governor Oshiomhole. They beat them and were trying to get information from them, to probably enable then kidnap other people. Another woman was kidnapped and added to them.

Luckily for them, this woman had a bible with her, and with this they were able to pray earnestly.

Eventually after about five days they were all rescued by the State Security Service (SSS), Soldiers and other force men. All the victims were rescued without ransom.

As a matter of fact. The culprits who spearheaded the kidnapping, have been arrested. They walked into the police net on their own, as God would have it. Those who have gone through the nightmare say it is better imagined than experienced. Imagine putting people in the forest for days with out food, coupled with all the beatings.

One of the victims had a health condition that would have warranted her need for drugs, to keep her going, but God saved them all thought the ordeal.

Any wander why some people are saying that capital punishment be melted out to those who are guilty of crime.

Meanwhile, we pray it stops suddenly and quickly, the way it started

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