The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Samuel Kanu-Uche has relived his ordeal in the kidnappers’ den.
He was abducted on May 29 along with the Bishop of Owerri Diocese and the Prelate’s chaplain in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.
According to Uche, who said the experience was frightening, it was God that delivered them from the ‘lion’s den’ after paying N100million ransom.
He said: “I went for my apostolic duty to induct the boys’ brigade and I was rushing to Owerri Airport to catch my flight back to Lagos.
“As we were approaching the airport, three boys came out from the bush and started shooting us.
“As my driver was trying to speed up, they shot at our tyre and the car started wobbling.
“One of them introduced himself as the commander of the forest and that they were kidnappers.
He said they kidnap for ransom, and that if we could pay the ransom, they would set us free, but if not, they would kill us.
“They showed us a deep gully, very, very deep gully where they dispose of those they had killed.
“Around 10:30pm, they asked what we would pay and I said, N10million. They said we were joking.
“Their leader said he was from Sudan, another one from Mali and the last another from a neighbouring country, but they have lived in Nigeria for so long.
“At another time, they asked us how much we were willing to pay and I said N50million
“He raised his knife and told one of my bishops to lay down and said he would cut his neck now and his blood would stain my white. He said at that point I would know that he was not joking.
“Then, I raised my voice pleading that he should not kill the bishop. So, he said the last we could pay was N100 million.
“I had to call my people to raise the sum, pleading with them that no amount is worth the life of anyone.
“From 3 pm when they kidnapped us, we were trekking till around 2am. I’m beginning to suspect that those who cut human heads are not Igbos.
“Actually, some of them have stayed for a long time in Igboland.”
He observed that there were highly placed people involved in the act of kidnapping.
The Prelate said the manner his assailants operated while in the forest showed they were well-organised and undaunted.
He urged the government to do the needful to nip kidnapping in the bud.
“I don’t blame any government but I blame the leadership in government.
“The Bible says when the righteous are in power, the people rejoice but when the wicked bear the rule, the people groan.”
He urged Nigerians to empower a leader that will enthrone equality, fairness and justice.
He revealed that the kidnappers also took a wedding ring that he bought for $150, his wristwatch and a chain.
“When the kidnappers said we could go, they gave us N200,” Kanu-Uche said.