When my friend casually remarked that she was kidnapped on my post, I had to call her back to shed more light. She promised to. I went further to ask her why she didn’t post her story because she’s overactive here. Her answer told me she’s probably still in shock.
I am too.
Read Gill Igho Smith’s kidnap experience…
We just came out from Shafa filling station in Lokoja and heading towards Okene, it was late sha. I traveled late because I had it at the back of my mind that since Benin was closed due to the protest, it will take two days to get to Warri.
I was reading the Lekki massacre and crying in the bus. I was directly behind the driver. We were 12 in the bus with the driver. The next thing a soldier stopped us. They were two, not knowing they were kidnappers wearing camouflage. Our driver was asked to come down and he did. They asked him to open the bus and he opened from my side. The first thing they did was collect my phone. Me I was even thinking they want to check if I was supporting #EndSars protest but no, he just put it inside his pocket. I asked if he was seizing my phone but he didn’t answer. They asked everyone to come down and immediately we all did, from the bush over 10 people rushed us with guns, cutlasses and very big sticks. That was when we knew we have entered one chance. Another bus was coming from the opposite direction and saw them fast, the speed he used, our driver and two others used that distraction to run and they shot at them, we don’t know if they survived because a week after, the park was still looking for the driver.
They started marching us into the bush. We walked for about 30 minutes and they separated us into two sets. The guy holding me was one of them wearing the camouflage. He looked young and I felt I could penetrate him. I started begging him and asked him if they would kill us. He said if we do what they want, nothing will happen to us.
The first side we stopped, they had my bag, they opened him, threw my books away and my international passport and my cards and took the little money and drinks, bread I bought for compound children, my honey, cream, body spray and perfume. They put what they took into another bag and asked us to start moving again. This time, we walked into the bush for over an hour. only thing I could feel was cassava stem, scent leave and corn. When we got to the other spot, we say the rest that we separated from.
They started flogging the guys and asked them to lie on their faces. Then we girl (3) were asked to sit down. We sat down and they started searching one by one. They got all phone, naked the other girls and I had my picture with two of my nieces as my screensaver so I quickly told them that I was married with kids. They sha put their hands inside my trouser according to them they were searching for anything I may be hiding but my dear…
They lifted my top and searched my breast too. They counted all the cash and said we should start going. I felt relieved thinking that they were through with us since the direction was like the opposite of where we came from. Now it was very dark and I could not see a thing but I noticed that this time it was not cassava stem but thorns because I lost my slippers in the bush like 5 minutes into the trekking. I could not smell scent leaf again and I knew we were not going the same direction.
After like 30minutes, one guy amongst us somehow escaped. We walked almost 1 hour and if you are slow they will say they will shoot you and leave you there. This lazy me had strength at once.
We walked to a place and they asked the girls to sit. Tied the boys hands, eyes, legs and tied them to each other two by two. They made fire, cut branch of a big tree, spread wood and they slept and asked us to sleep on the ground like that. The two girls slept, me I couldn’t ooo. I was just praying and reciting Psalms 91, I am not even sure I was reading correctly.
Then morning came. Some one called them to ask how many we were and situation report. The person told them to give us our phones so we can start calling our people. They told the person they needed bullets. Na so ooo, my battery for the small phone was down, they gave me new battery, but refused to give me my Android phone. The one that held me that night, they were calling him ‘Shugaba’ it means leader. They were total 11 and I am sure the oldest amongst them will not be more than 25.
Before they gave us phone, one of them came to search my breast again and after the leader asked him to leave me alone that I was married. They asked me to call my husband, I said he was dead, they said my father nko? I said I don’t have and my mom was sick. So I called my pastor first because me na prayers I need first and then a friend that could speak Fulani. To call, your phone must be on speaker, two amongst them hear small English. So they asked for 10million and later stopped at 4million, we started pricing ooo. When my dad’s driver said 200k, they flogged me eh and my shout made my people understand that this was no child’s play. We begged, what did we not do??? But when they noticed many people were calling for me, they didn’t touch me and I told them the two girls were my younger sisters. You can call 50 people if you like as long as they are talking money. That was when they made the statement. You should see the way they eat. Put beans, rice and spaghetti on fire same time with oil and Maggie and salt and they use stick to turn, then they serve in a black nylon no plates or spoon and they all eat together.
That morning, someone brought them bullets and drinks. They were just beating the guys. They didn’t give them opportunity to call their people sef ooo. Later about six, 9 left to work and two to guide us. One of the boys tried to escape, one went after him but didn’t see him only for him to jam them again and was brought back. You should see the kind of beating they gave him and the others because of his actions.
They came back with two Yoruba guys. Kai, what they did to them. That night I sha was able to lie down for some hours to sleep.
The next day, my people were still negotiating and they settled for me but the other girls nko? The two girls were experts in Hausa and one dyed her hair gold, the boys started calling her a prostitute and she had nobody to call. But the one by my side eh, she tried and begged them for an amount and they agreed for her.
My sister asked for account and they said no, it is cash, they have to bring it. So they told the other girls people to send money to my sister since she’s in Abuja and the closest and then bring the money. That was the day they gave the boys phone to call. One said he just did surgery so they loosed him and stopped beating him. Three were brothers from same mothers, One had a really poor mother and nobody and when she was crying and begging them in Hausa they were laughing. One the beating they gave him, he fainted twice, peed on his body sef. Then the two Yoruba they hanged them; tied their hand through the back to their legs, hang them on a tree like they were drying clothes and put a big wood on their back. We had to beg for them because they were flogging them with wood on top. Sorry but I think they hate Yorubas. By the time they dropped them, their hands and legs were gone, they couldn’t feel it, they dragged them.
Next morning, my sister was coming ooo, only for a new set that came to visit our set of kidnappers. Six of them. Even from their looks you will know they are wicked. They were like have they raped us, the others said no and they were like, why? they told them I was a woman, somebody’s wife. You should see how they started analyzing us, I could not bend or do anything. I had to put on my jacket and sit up. They said I was fat, my pussy will be sweet, the others are too thin, many rubbish and they came back to my breast. The oga told them to leave me alone that my people were bringing money, the anger eh, the guy flogged me again. The other girl with nobody, that’s how they started flogging ooo.
When my sister got to the point, she had to beg that the money was for the three girls. The other girl sef her people could not raise the complete money, my sister’s colleague had to borrow them. Where my sister paid, civil defense was the one that pointed the place for her.
My abductors made a call to someone and said that the person should not be angry that this set does not have enough money ooo. So after they settled with my sister they asked her to go. Turned off my phone and that’s how they left us o. The next day the other girl said she was hungry, they gave us spaghetti that we should cook ourselves, I said I don’t want to eat and they said it was a must. Na so that girl put spaghetti and Maggie and oil and put food for nylon on the black sand and the water was from a stream o. I couldn’t drink but the others drank. The day they collected my ransom, na so them order Kilishi and Chicken and they no give us eat o.
They later said we were dirty, we should wash our clothes and bath. People that haff not bathed since we came. They keep scratching their dicks and bodies anyhow. Me, bath and no clothes and be naked for them to be tempted, I told them we were okay o.
One then suggested they should cut us at least to give us mark that we came here. The friendly one that speaks a little English begged for us. That one said he stopped at SS2, that his brother did something and he’s like a prisoner paying for his brother until the debt is paid. That we should pray for him. He was the one that gave us 1k each. The day they left us, they said we must walk with them. We walked over two hours in the bush, got to a point and for the first time they prayed. Asking God to forgive them and help them not to be caught. We caught 15 people that day. One sienna and one bus and they said we should just be running and if we tell anybody they will find us and kill us. Come and see three of us running. Cars were turning and asking us what was happening, we said we don’t know. Like two minutes from there see soldiers, they stopped us and asked us questions where are our slippers and why we were running, we told them it’s like we saw robbers and we ran. Who want talk? I feel they could be accomplices. We finally saw kabba junction, drank malt and took a cab to Lokoja. Called my people and they paid for a hotel to sleep.
God continue to protect His own, amen.
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I am done, I am gone, I’m ghost.