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Sunday, June 23, 2024

UNIZIK Professor Recounts Experience in the Hands of Herdsmen Kidnappers inside Anambra Bush


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

An Anambra-based professor, Sydney Onyeagu has shared a captivating story of his encounter and experience in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen (kidnappers) in a bush in the State.

It would be recalled that Prof. Onyeagu, a scholar and professor of Statistics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, was kidnapped at his residence in Awka, Anambra State capital sometime in May, this year, but, however, later regained his freedom after spending some days in the hands of the itinerant abductors in inside the bush.

Recounting his experience on Sunday in Awka, Anambra State where the incident happened, the visibly age-advanced Varsity Don said they walked in the bush for days without tarrying much at one particular place.

While noting that his survival of the adventure was principally by the special grace of God; he also narrated how his abductors revealed to him that they were hired to assassinate him by someone who was also giving them every information about his movement and whereabouts, even till the very moment they captured him.

“It was on a Sunday. So, around 6 o’clock in the evening, I went to buy fuel, to come back before 7. And I did come back around quarter to 7. Where I live, which is my house, at (estate’s name withheld), our street is the last; and after the street, you have the forest that stretches from Awka to Enugwu-Agidi.

“So, in all those places were porous, as we didn’t have security at the Estate then. So, the moment I parked my car, I saw five herdsmen who rushed me and told me Come, come, follow us, follow us to the bush, follow us to the bush.”

He said he didn’t resist but gently followed them to the bush, where they trekked inside the bush for 15 minutes before they stopped to have a little rest, and during which they also told him why they ‘picked’ him and the deal that was sealed on his head.

“They said I should know that the country is very bad and hard, and then told me that somebody sent them and that even when I was coming back, the person was giving them information about my movements. They also told me that the person asked them to kill me,” he recounted.

Prof. Onyeagu, however, said the people assured that they would no longer kill him as discussed, and then demanded him to ‘do something’ for them.

According to the Professor, he stayed with the kidnappers for two days, and two nights inside the bush before regaining his freedom after ‘settling’ them.

“After everything, they came to me and released me. They did not beat me for once. Each time, they said, ‘Papa, what do you need? Do you want to sleep? Do you need food? Do you need drugs?’ And I would tell them, Go and buy. Most times, they would also put something on the ground for me to sleep.

“We were inside the bush for two good days. But luckily, there was no rain. And immediately after I came out that night, around 11, rain was everywhere! It was God that saved me. And it was God that did everything. They did not beat me, even for one day

“Even after everything, they still came to me and said they were sorry for what they did to me…,” he narrated, describing his safety and safe return as miraculous works of God, as many people, both in the State and elsewhere, have embarked on such journey or had similar experience but never returned alive.

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