The victims of last week’s kidnap in Ondo State have narrated how their driver and bad road led to their abduction.
The victims, who were travelling from Abuja to Lagos in an 18-seater passenger bus, were kidnapped at about 6:30pm.
Three of them: Benjamin Ojoga, Omolara Fajana and Faith Sunday, who were rescued by operatives of the South West security outfit, Amotekun, shared their ordeals with newsmen on Saturday as they were being handed over to their families.
At their handing over to their families on Saturday at the headquarters of Amotekun in Alagbaka area of Akure, the Ondo State capital, the victims said their kidnapper struck when they came down at a bad portion of the road at Ifira-Akoko, while their driver zoomed off as he heard the gunshots of their abductors.
Ojoga said: “It was after the gunshots that the driver of the bus zoomed off, which gave the kidnappers the opportunity to abduct us.
“I got the injury from the beating the kidnappers gave me.
“They were saying that I’m a force man and I told them I’m not.
“But they didn’t believe me.”
Fajana said: “On that very day, we were coming from Abuja and heading to Lagos.
“Shortly after leaving Ibilo, our bus got stuck on the bad portion.
“After spending about three to four hours getting the bus out, we continued the journey.
“On getting to Ifira-Akoko, we met another bad portion and the driver told us to come down so that the bus will be lighter and to enable it to move easily.
“Immediately we came down from the bus, we heard gunshots and everybody became jittery.
“At that moment, the bus zoomed off and the gunmen were able to pick four of us.
“One of us, an old woman who was limping was allowed to go, but they collected her phone.
“The incident happened around 6:30pm.
“Then they made us walk for about three hours inside the bush.
“The kidnappers were speaking pidgin English and they looked like herdsmen.”
The State Commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, said operatives of the state security outfit had been drafted into the forest in order to apprehend the kidnappers.
Adeleye said: “After we were able to secure the release of the first nine, Amotekun operatives still continued to comb the forest, which is so massive.
“It is the same forest that extends to some parts of Kogi State.
“We started tracing them and once they started maintaining contact with the victim’s families, we also commenced tracking up to the point we now gave them a very hot chase and we were able to secure their release.
“For now, we have not made any arrest, but we are tracking and working on them.
“We are actually working on the situation alongside the DSS (Department of State Services), Police.
“It is a synergy of all security agencies.
“We are just taking the lead.”