Published On: Mon, Mar 22nd, 2021

Labour Leader Recounts Sad Ordeal In Kidnappers’ Den Along Warri/Sapele Road

LAGOS MATCH 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)-A district chairman of the Maritime Workers’ Union, Nigerian Ports Authority, Warri, Delta State, Comrade Samson Pere, has narrated how he was kidnapped along with five others around Ibada Elume bridge on the busy Warri-Sapele road on Friday, March 5, 2021, by suspected herdsmen.
Comrade Pere, who is currently recuperating at a private hospital, in Warri, while giving account of his near death experience with the deadly kidnappers, said they were held hostage for three days until ransom was paid to secure their release.
According to him, he said he was on his way to Benin, Edo State, from Warri, when the kidnappers took over the road at exactly 4pm, around the Ibada Elume bridge, shooting sporadically.
“I was driving in a hilux van to Benin, Edo State, on Friday, March 5, 2021 when the kidnappers shot at my vehicle. I lost control of the steering and found myself in the bush. In seconds, I was taken hostage along with five others from other vehicles by eight fully armed men with AK47, machetes, jack knives, among others. We were two men and four ladies.
“They led us into the forest and kept us there. At 4pm each day, they would feed us with fufu and soup without meat. 30 minutes after the meal, they would descend on us heavily, beating us mercilessly. They also beat us in the morning time. They beat us twice daily for hours with whips, cutlasses, etc. They also used machete to cut my hand. It was an experience that I would never wish for anyone. They said it was the only way they could get ransom from us.
“They ordered us to get across to family members and any other person we could call for ransom and demanded a very huge amount from me simply because I was driving a hilux truck. When I told them that there was no way I could raise such an amount, they threatened to kill me, and used the machete to cut my hands, almost severing them. At the end of the day, my people were able to raise some millions of naira for them.
“Five of us paid the ransom but one lady could not. They almost killed her. When we were being released, I pleaded with them to release the lady. After much pleading and beating, she was allowed to go with us. Besides the ransom paid, they took my wrist watch, belt, and a gold necklace.
“I suspect they are herdsmen because of the way they communicated and behaved. They spoke the language herdsmen speak to cattle to gather, discuss, and pass instructions. They are in their 20s. They boasted to us that they would continue to kidnap at that point, and truly, after our release, I heard they kidnapped another set of 17 persons there last Thursday.
“Sincerely, I thank God for sparing my life and I also thank those who raised the money for my release. I want to plead with the federal and state governments to do something about the insecurity on the road. With what I went through there, I won’t have the courage to pass through that road again until security improves on it. When they released us, as we were about to leave, I asked them if they would attack me again on the road because it is a road that I ply frequently, they just laughed. But on a serious note, if the state and federal governments do not do anything about security on that road, I won’t take that route again.“

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