I saw hell, says kidnap victim
•Family thanks The Nation, police, others
IT was a joyful Mrs Oluwatoyin Oyeleye who called thisreporter on phone last Saturday, announcing: “We have found Bamidele o!”
Hours later, the reporter met with the happy family to hear from the lost-but-found 19-year-old boy.
Narrating his five-week ordeal, the victim said: “From the point of my kidnap, I was moved to two places. On April 11, I had gone to do carpentry work with my boss with whom I have worked for three years. We went somewhere in Ayobo after Ipaja, to work for a woman; but she was not ready for us. We left the place and parted ways at Oluwaga Bus Stop at Ayobo in Ipaja. He then gave me N50 to add to my bus fare and left me there.
“I joined the first bus that was calling Iyana-Ipaja by Jakande Estate, expecting the bus to pass through the estate around Akinyele so that I could alight at Adefemi Bus Stop and just walk into my street. But when we got to Akinyele, the bus did not enter Jakande Estate. So, we asked him why? Instead of explaining to us, some men just slapped us and ordered us to shut up. I was the youngest in the bus and I became afraid. So, we all kept quiet as we were too terrified to say anything.
“All I knew later was that they took us to a place with a very high fence. We were thrown into the middle of a big compound and made to sit in the hot sun. Even in the night, we sat outside and were tied down till morning. We were like that for three days with no food or water. But we were not allowed to sit together. Later, they brought to me a local sponge with black soap and asked me to undress to bathe. I told them I had a bath before leaving home that morning. One of them slapped me and told me to just obey their orders. I took the sponge and had the bath in the open. Later they gave me my trousers and asked me to sit down close to where I had the bath. They left all of us in the hot sun. I almost died. They later said that we would know our fate when their boss arrived. After some time, they came out again. One of them put a knife to my throat, trying to kill me. But another one stopped him, insisting that they should wait for their boss.”
His co-captives were later paraded before the “boss” and then came Bamidele’s turn. Then, he got a pleasant shock. “The boss said they should “transfer” me that I wasn’t useful to them. I didn’t know what “transfer” meant. But they still left me in their compound for some days more. I think I spent over one week with them. One day, they came and gave me my cloth to wear and bundled me into another bus and we travelled for very long,” he said.
The journey, he said, took them to Ijebu-Shagamu, where he was handed over to another set of kidnappers. Luckily, they rejected him because again, he would not be useful to them.
He recalled: “So, they beat me with belts (showing the stripes), pushed me out and told me to find my own way back to my family. But I didn’t know anywhere in that area. That was after three weeks or so. I started walking about in Ijebu-Shagamu. I was afraid. I didn’t know who to talk to. But one day, I saw one Muslim cleric praying. I went to him and explained my ordeal. The man was very shocked and took me into his house. He introduced me to his family and they gave me water to bathe and food to eat. I felt very sick and the man took care of me. When I felt better, he said he did not want police troubles. So, he handed me over to one woman to help me and she took me to work in a bakery. I don’t know how many days I worked there. She would give me only a loaf of bread and sachet water to eat each day. I could not call my parents and I didn’t know their numbers off-hand.
“I was working in the bakery, when a customer saw me and asked if I was a “missing person”. Surprised, I replied “yes”. The person asked if it was my person that a newspaper wrote about. I said I didn’t know because I did not see it. The person told me to be ready the next morning that I would be taken to where my family would see me. Next morning, (last Friday), the person came, showed me my face with that of my mother in the newspaper (The Nation). I recognised my mother’s face and mine. I was then told to quietly go and wait somewhere, and from that spot, the person took me to OGTV where they showed me and it was after that my father and our church leader came to fetch me. Now, I feel very sick.”
His elated mother, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Oyeleye, who could barely wait for her son to round off, said: “We saw him on Friday, May 16, but because we brought him home sick, we had to first keep him away to take care of his health before we could announce it to the world. It is nine days today that he was brought back home from Ogun State about 12am.
My family is thankful to God, our church, the police, The Nation newspaper, AIT and OGTV and every concerned parent.”
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