A farmer in Ayete in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Oluwafemi Oyedepo, narrated his ordeal in kidnappers’ den where he spent four days.
NEWSCASTARS.COM learnt from City Round report that Oyedepo and his two partners were travelling to a farm around Felele village last Friday when gunmen ambushed their van in the Konko area, Ibarapa.
His partners were said to have escaped but Oyedepo was caught and taken into the forest saying the kidnappers initially demanded N100m ransom but eventually collected N600,000, adding that they tortured him before he was released on Tuesday.
The incident was said to have been reported at the Ayete Police Division. He said, “I left Ayete town in a van with two other people before 7am. The incident happened around 8am. Some kidnappers came from behind and started shooting. Three others appeared in the front. We quickly came down from the vehicle and tried to escape.
“They chased after us and caught up with me. They said I was their target. We walked inside the bush and slept wherever the night fell. We could feel the presence of the police and vigilantes where they kept me but they warned that if the police attempted to rescue me without paying ransom, they would waste my life.
“It was a bitter experience. They beat me up anytime they wanted to ask something from me. My face got swollen from beating; it was too much. They were cooking rice but I could not eat it.”
The farmer further explained that he was not given water on his first day in the den and had to leak drops of water on leaves on the second day when he became extremely thirsty saying he told his family to say the last prayer for him saying the kidnappers “from the language they speak are Fulani.”
He stated, “They eventually collected N600,000 ransom. They gave me N500 and asked me to pray for them. I prayed for them that they would find favour. They started from N100m and later insisted on N5m. I saw it as a favour that they eventually collected N500,000 so I prayed that God will favour them. The favour may be death or repentance. I am grateful to God for my life. I have little children and a wife to take care of.”
One of Oyedepo’s partners who escaped the attack, Michael Olawumi, said the gunmen struck a few minutes after they left a police checkpoint in Konko village.
Olawumi, who drove the vehicle, said that he stopped when he heard a loud noise, thinking that a tyre had busted.
He said, “Mr Olufemi (Oyedepo) asked me to stop. The third person at the back sighted two men with guns from the back but we thought they were hunters. As we wanted to continue the journey, we saw a group of gunmen wearing masks. Others were wielding cutlasses. We disembarked and ran inside the bush but they caught one of us.
“They went away with my phone that I was charging inside the van. But when they released the man, they returned my SIM. I suspect that insiders gave those kidnappers information about us.”