Herdsmen Have Landmarked The Bush To Keep Their Tracks: Victim Tells Radio Nigeria

Victor Eden, a seventeen years old student, his mother and a sister were traveling to Ajah from Ibadan on Thursday with the hope of visiting a relative.

The journey however went weird at exactly five minutes past eight, when some gunmen allegedly attacked the commercial Siena bus conveying them.

He shares his experience “At Alomaja, immediately after CRIN, some suspected herdsmen surfaced from the bush and started shooting sporadically. Our driver in a reflex action diverted into the bush, opened the vehicle’s door and fled, the other person sitting in the front also was able to escape.

We were sitting at the back of the Sienna bus, so it was hard for us to escape. Some boys sitting in the middle were equally lucky.

The man carrying my sister was already shot, so they wanted to take my mother and my sister. When I saw my sister crying, I pleaded with the bandits who were in mobile police uniforms to take me and leave my mother and sister.

Though they collected my mummy’s phone, ATM card and purse, they agreed to take me.

They kidnapped five of us and killed two who attempted to escape immediately we entered the bush and left their remains in the bush.

Two of them ushered us into the bush and conveyed us to Osugbo where we arrived at half past four.

I demanded water because I was thirsty and hungry because I had not eaten that day.

We trekked for hours from a destination to the other but I found out that they had marked the routes in the bush before they came to abduct us.

They had cut tree branches to mark each spot. So each time we got to a marked tree, they contacted someone on the phone, speaking their language.

When they contacted my family they demanded ten million naira ransom before we negotiated to five million naira, they told the two other victims they would pay ten and twenty million naira.

One of the abductors told me they buy one million naira worth of bullets for each gun. They queried us to determine our ransom. I must tell you they know all the routes in the bush because they switched off the flashlight in the night and they did not lose the track.

When my dad was bringing the ransom, they kept calling him at intervals  to let him know that they were monitoring him. They told him each bus  stop he was until he got the point where they told him he had arrived.

They asked my father to tell the Okada man that was carrying him to negotiate into the bush, but the rider, an Hausa man insisted that he was not entering bush, my dad called to inform them about the development, they instructed my father to give the phone to the rider and they conversed in a language he (my father) didn’t understand after which the rider took him there.

They instructed my father to be moving towards a direction before three armed bandits surfaced from different locations from the bush.

They paid the rider additional money and took the pain to count the money to ascertain the exact amount.

Thereafter, they told my dad to go that he would see his son.

Back to the bush where we were kept, I didn’t know my family was planning to pay the ransom because I was sure we could not raise such an amount. My father is a security man in a soap making company while my mum is a fashion designer.

I knew some of the bandits left us in the bush so when they returned, they called me “O boy your father has paid your money” with a Fulani accent. I also saw them sharing some money but I didn’t see how huge it was. One of them said you are free now, so two of them escorted me in a journey of about three hours in the bush and when they got to a spot, they stopped and showed me the express. They told me to go that my father was waiting for me. Getting out at Gambari junction near a police check point, I saw my father and ran towards him. We took a motorcycle back to Ibadan and we went to Idi-Ayunre police station where my mother had reported the case.

They are all young people, the oldest among them cannot be up to twenty-seven years of age. I thank God for saving me. I don’t know what could happen to the two people I left with them because they already told them they would kill them if their relatives waste too much time”

All I know is that they had a boss who called to know about their upkeep.

They carved their bags with sacs stocked with Indian hemp and weapons.

Adedayo Adelowo

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