Kidnapped For Ransom: My Personal Experience – Part 8

As usual, the phone was set on speaker mode, so everyone on ground was in on the conversation I had with my wife. It was that conversation that reminded me of something that made me have a moment to shed some tears that morning. But then I would soon realise that crying while being held hostage can earn you multiple slaps on the head.

Why I shed some tears

Something dawned on me a as I finished talking with my wife on the phone that morning: that Thursday was when my late elder brother would be lying in state at our family compound before the final interment, on the same day.

I was meant to be there in flesh and blood to pay him my last respect and also join my other siblings to give him a befitting burial. But there I was in a thick forest far away from home, held against my will by AK-47 gun-wielding Fulani men who think that taking people hostage for ransom payment is a proud business to make a living from.

“So I will not be there to witness the burial of my late brother who was like a father to me?” I soliloquized.

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Kidnapped For Ransom: My Personal Experience – Part 7

Real life story of kidnapping for ransom.

After dishing out the unsolicited pieces of advice, the kidnappers mandated the so-called good-for-nothing-man with his driver to escort the Papa out of the forest. Hopefully, they would lead him till he reunites with his family and then both of them can walk to their freedom as well. We, the three remaining hostages, bade them farewell while our own fate still hanged in the balance.

Time to share the booty

Thanks to the huge ransom collected on the papa’s head, the kidnappers were visibly delighted and they became more favourably disposed towards us. They began talking to us in warmer tones than before, telling us that if our families would cooperate with them just like the Papa’s family did, we too would regain our freedom.

They didn’t have any wild celebrations after collecting the ransom. Perhaps, they felt it wasn’t time to celebrate yet or they wanted to remain focused on their mission of collecting ransom from all the remaining hostages. Either way, they were fully in control of the situation.

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One Vital Thing People Always Forget About Christmas

Th reason we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is by far one of the most celebrated events every year. But if you take a closer look at it, you will observe that many people who celebrate Christmas often forget one vital thing about it.

What is that one important thing people always miss out from the Christmas celebration? I will get to that in a moment. But first, let’s take a look at how people celebrate Christmas.

How do people celebrate Christmas?

Just like most people, I knew from childhood that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But the whole essence of celebrating it was lost on me until I grew older.

As far as I was concerned then, Christmas was mostly about my parents buying special clothes for me, eating favourite meals (usually richer than one would eat on ordinary days), visiting family and friends, and receiving gifts.

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Kidnapped For Ransom: My Personal Experience – Part 6

As the rains subsided, we became relieved of the massive cold we were experiencing. The rays of the Sun began to sift through the canopies of the trees towering above us unto the forest floors. And we felt warm in our bodies as the wet clothes clinging tightly to our frames began to dry out.

When the ransom was reduced

The leader of the kidnappers’ gang started to engage us in more conversations while the rest of them kept guard over us with their AK-47s consistently pointed at us as the stench of their cigarette smoking pervaded the air.

Surprisingly, he left the circle of his fellow kidnappers and sat a few feet away from where we were, talking to us in turns. The Papa in our midst was the first focus of his attention.

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Kidnapped For Ransom: My Personal Experience – Part 5

A personal story of a kidnapping survivor.

For the rest of the day, negotiations continued between the kidnappers on one side and the respective families of the hostages on the other.

In the meantime, we had some avenues to steal some more conversations amongst ourselves, one of which was concerning food.

Is there no food in the kidnappers den?

I asked one of the guys whom we were told were kidnapped before us, “Have these people (referring to the kidnappers) given you anything to eat since they held you?”

“No,” he replied to me. “We have not eaten since they kidnapped us.”

From what I gathered from the kidnappers, this guy with the other two men was kidnapped on Saturday. That was two days before we were kidnapped on Monday afternoon.

“And they haven’t eaten?” I wondered.

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Kidnapped For Ransom: My Personal Experience – Part 4

Despite the dawning of a new day, I continued to lie facedown but remained fully aware of the goings-on in the environment, waiting to dance to whatever music the kidnappers would play for us next.”

“It’s time to call your wife”

That early morning, the kidnappers made all hostages call their families and friends in respect of the ransom amount they demanded on each of us. The other hostages were first attended to before it came to my turn.

I would later realise that the kidnappers didn’t use their own phone lines to contact the families of their hostages; they made use of the phones of their victims.

My phone had been taken from me since the previous day, so I had lost any hope of ever having it back with me again. Other hostages were also dispossessed of their phones.

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Blogging Milestone: One Hundred Thousand Views And Still Counting

It has been a long time since I celebrated any blogging milestone. But this one is so huge that I’m not going to let it slide by.

WordPress just notified me that my all-time blog views have crossed the 100,000 mark. I received the notification on October 1, 2021.

However, I had noticed a day earlier that my blog’s viewership has surpassed the one hundred thousand thresholds.

To say that I’m excited about it is an understatement. So I’m here sharing the news with you not to brag but to show my gratitude for the achievement.

Yes, it’s an achievement but I’m not gloating about it. I’m just happy and grateful.

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Kidnapped For Ransom: My Personal Experience – Part 3

The kidnappers didn’t want us to talk to one another. So we too kept our cool and calm. But our peace would soon be disrupted as they began inviting each of us in turns to a corner for profiling with a view to extracting additional vital information from us. What followed next would turn out to be a gruesome experience.

The gruelling profiling

I knew it would be a matter of only a few minutes before it got to my turn to be profiled through a series of questions intentionally constructed to elicit the answers that would help their criminal cause.

“Hey, oya, you from the ash colour Toyota car,” their leader shouted, as he pin-pointed me by stamping his feet on my back while I lay on the forest ground, “Come here.”

Interestingly, he didn’t forget the colours of the two cars they ambushed on the highway. Both were Toyotas but he was able to differentiate them by their colours and model.

He didn’t know my name by then but he made sure he didn’t confuse me with the hostage taken from the other Toyota car. I would later realise that the kind of car one drove was part of the initial visible external means of profiling a target.

I made effort to stand up to face him. But before getting up on my feet, one of the other gunmen dashed to where I was and dragged me aside into a small human circular triangle formed by three of the other gunmen.

“Kneel down and face here,” their main guy commanded me, with two other men pointing their long guns at me – each at my left and right, towards my back.

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Kidnapped For Ransom: My Personal Experience – Part 2

Kidnapping for ransom in Nigeria along Benin Agbor bypass. 

Personal story of being kidnapped.

While we were being marched into the forest against our will, I overheard the conversation between two of the gunmen, “This baby will disturb us. Let’s leave this woman and her baby.”

That was how my wife and our baby were abandoned on the lonely expressway while the gunmen took my nephew, his sister and I, hostage and led us into the forest.

The long walk to the Kidnappers den

The gunmen continued shooting sporadically into the air as they led us into the bush from the road. Either they were trying to ward-off any attempt by anybody to come rescue us or they were warning us not to try anything funny.

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Kidnapped For Ransom: A Personal Experience

personal stories of kidnapping for ransom in Nigeria

Another worrisome problem in Nigeria

I live in Nigeria, a country richly blessed by God but filled with many problems. Most of the problems are caused by all of us humans – leaders and the citizenry alike. This is a piece of common knowledge but some people will still choose to deny it.

We are all part of the problems and the problems are part of us. But for how long will we continue to live with all the preventable problems that plague us?

Except you are from outer space, you must be well aware of some of the not-so-good stories of things that befall us as a people and as the nation with the highest population of blacks in the world. Because of that, I would totally understand if you are fed up with hearing ugly tales about Nigeria and Nigerians.

And to be honest with you, most of us are tired too, but what can we say? It’s our country after all – for better or worse.

Just read my story highlighting another worrisome problem we face. It may sound familiar but it doesn’t mean that what happened is acceptable.

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