Prelate of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu-Uche, on Tuesday, narrated how God saved him, the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, and the Prelate’s Chaplain, Very Rev. Abidemi Jeremiah Shittu, in the hands of kidnappers.
They were abducted on Sunday in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State and released on Monday after the payment N100 million ransom, arranged in five sacks.
The Prelate, who said their abductors were ‘Fulani boys’, accused some security agents of working with the terrorists.
Speaking at the Methodist Church, Yaba, Lagos, Kanu-Uche, whose right eye was swollen, revealed that the Fulani boys told him other terrorists were already in the forests of South-East, South-South and South-West, waiting for signals to strike.
He said: “These people came from the bush. They divided themselves into three. Some people fired at us and there was another group in front to make sure that we didn’t run away. They fired shots at our vehicle and eventually, they abducted three of us.
“The communication man of the church was able to escape, the driver was able to escape. They abducted me, the Bishop of Owerri and my Chaplain and took us to the bush and were torturing us. It was in the process of that torture that I hit my right eye on a tree. Even when blood was flowing and I was soaking my eyes with handkerchief, they didn’t feel like anything happened.
“All they said was that we should follow them. That they were not actually against Nigerian citizens but against the government, that the government is a bad government.
“They are Fulani boys. All the eight are Fulani. They said the day they will see the President or any of his representatives, they will chew him raw. That he is their brother but he has disappointed them and has disappointed Nigeria.
”I said even though I am part of government, I am a church man, I am not a government official. They said okay, that is what have saved you, we would have killed you outrightly without asking for any ransom but now that you are a church man, let’s go inside the bush.
“I trekked up to 15 kilometers but I knew that we were rigmaroling, going up, going down and eventually at 11pm, they said okay now, we can negotiate. Each of us will pay N50 million and we are going to pay N150 million. I thought it was a joke; I said we were going to pay N10 million and they said what? Don’t say that; they lifted up their knife to cut me, I said please hold on.”
The Prelate said the leader of the group “is about 35 years while the others are about 18”.
He said they took his rings, chain, took the money they had on them and insisted on N150 million ransom.
The cleric said the abductors eventually agreed to N100 million ransom, warning that if they negotiate, they would be killed.