One of the victims of last Saturday’s kidnapping incident in Okada axis of Benin City, Edo State, during which Olajide Sowore, the younger brother to the convener of Revolution Now, Omoyele Sowore, was killed, Rev. Sister Emmanuella Anyanwu, has confirmed that their abductors and killers were herdsmen.
The victim spoke in an interview on Monday, three days after the incident in which five others were kidnapped.
Anyanwu, who narrated how she escaped from the kidnappers, confirmed that those who abducted her and four others later brought their cows to the camp where they were kept in the bush.
Anyanwu said that she escaped from the kidnappers when they were engrossed in a conversation with a man, who brought an object of interest to her abductors.
The 34-year old Anyanwu from the All Blessed of the Holy Spirit Convent in Ghana, explained that she was on her way to Imo State from Ghana and had stopped over in Lagos State, where she boarded a vehicle to her final destination, but was abducted by the herdsmen, who attacked their broken down commercial bus, in which the passengers slept overnight.
She explained that her abductors demanded for a ransom of N10 million, but she offered only N500,000, which infuriated the kidnappers.
Below is the full text of her interview:
“My name is Emmanuella Anyanwu, I am from Imo State. On Friday, we were coming from Lagos to the South-East and our vehicle broke down around Okada on the outskirts of Benin. We passed the night in the vehicle. At about 6.30am to 7am, some men came out from the bush shooting at us and we surrendered.
“They took our belongings including our phones and marched us into the bush. It took us almost two hours to get to their camp. They blindfolded us. So they started calling us one after the other and I was the last person they called. They asked me where I was coming from and where I was going. I told them that I was coming from Lagos and going to Imo State for my husband’s burial.
“They asked how many kids I had, I told them two and I also told them I sell groundnut in Lagos. They asked if I was the one providing the money to bury my husband and I told them his brother will do that. They also wanted to know what my sister was doing and I told them she sells bread in the village. They asked if I knew them, I said no. They asked if I knew the police and army, I told them I knew those ones.
“They told me they were kidnappers and said they abducted me because of ransom. They said if I didn’t have money, they would take my life. I asked them how much they wanted. But one of them was furious that I was asking them questions. I told them I needed to know the ransom.
“They asked if I had N10 million and I told them there was no way to get that kind of money. I told them I would give them N500,000 from money gathered from my village. One of them said I was a fool and they told me to sit down.
“Then it started raining heavily and they went away and brought one man again. So they took something from that man and their attention was on it. So I removed my blindfold and decided to escape but I decided to shelve the plan till midnight.
“But my spirit told me to escape because I would not have the opportunity to do so in the night because the abductors didn’t sleep in the night. I crept and that was how I escaped.”
When she was asked about the tribe of those who kidnapped her, Anyanwu said: “I believe they are Fulani, because on that Saturday afternoon, they released their cows and they came to where we were being held.
How did you get to Benin? she was asked: “I saw a mast far away and I started trekking towards it. After one hour or more, I got to a road and saw an elderly man on motorcycle and I asked him to take me to the police station, which he did.”
Are you aware of the death of a man?
“They were shooting at cars but I can say if anyone died.”
Were they harsh towards you?
“They were very harsh and warned us not to look at their faces, they also asked us not to talk to one another. They were beating the men but spared the women. I sustained the wounds on my body when I was trying to find my way out of the bush.”