Three persons who were kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen in Ogun State have recounted their ordeal before their release.
The three, two farmers and one farm worker who were abducted for four days said the herdsmen collected N3.5m as ransom before they could regain freedom.
They Oriade Wasiu, Rasheed Abimbola, and the Beninois farm worker, known as Agbetan, added that the police were ridiculed.
The farmers on how they were abducted said the herdsmen, were nine in number and armed with AK-47 and AK-49 rifles, stormed their farms in Tilele village, Ijebu-Igbo, in the Ijebu-North Local Government Area of the state and took them into the bush.
The farmers were kidnapped by the abductors on October 31 and were released four days later.
It was learnt that the kidnappers demanded N100m as ransom for their release, but later reduced it to N50m.
Wasiu explained that the abductors told the victims that they were hired to kill them, but asked for N100m in order to spare them, stating that they later changed their mind and reduced the ransom demand to N50m.
Wasiu and Abimbola said their relatives paid N3.5m and were released on the fourth day after they had been seriously beaten.
Abimbola said they were deprived of all their valuables and fed on only garri.
Wasiu said, “We were on the farm on Saturday, October 31, 2020; we are three who bought the land for the farm; two of us were on our farms, because the farms are in a cluster. My elder brother and I were on the farm, but my friend was not there. As I was making an attempt to open the gate, I saw two of the herdsmen with guns; they had hoods covering their faces with only their eyeballs visible.
“They firstly told us that they were hired to kill us, but if we could provide N100m, they would spare us. The following day, they reduced it to N50m. They spoke in pidgin English. They beat us before and after they allowed us to speak with our relatives on the phone.
“They beat us every day till Tuesday evening when they released us. They kidnapped three of us, my elder brother and I and one of my friend’s workers. He tried to escape, but he was caught in the bush.”
Wasiu added, “They collected N3.5m. Our families tried to rescue us, but the herdsmen did not stay up to 10 minutes at a spot before they took us to another place. All the efforts of the police proved abortive. My friend provided some money and our family members contributed.
“The kidnappers were nine. They are between the ages of 20 and 30. They were very active and were not tired at all. We could not withstand what we went through.”
Abimbola narrating his experience disclosed that the herdsmen carried sophisticated weapons.
He said after their release, the police declared that with the type of guns the herdsmen were using, only the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives could face them but the citizens had rejected them.
Abimbola said when the herdsmen heard the gunshot by the police, they mocked them saying the police were using bangers and not guns.
He stated, “They were young men and six of them were armed with sophisticated weapons. We spent four days in the bush. We were fed with two tin cups of garri. They started giving us food on Sunday night; one meal on Sunday and one on Monday. It was God who saved us. They asked for N100m and we were able to provide N3.5m.
“The police told us that with the kind of guns the herdsmen were using, only SARS could face them, but that we had rejected the SARS operatives.
“The herdsmen mocked the police that they were using bangers and not guns.”