A senior journalist and former editor with The Sun Newspapers, Alhaji Abdulfatah Oladeinde, has recounted how he spent six gruelling days in the kidnappers’ den, saying it was the almighty God that saved him from death.
Oladeinde, who is also the current Editor of the Nigerian Xpress, disclosed to the Tribune reporter that he was at his farm when three young men surrounded him, beat him up before he was taken away into the bush.
He disclosed that before his six days in the kidnappers’ den, more than half of his expanse farm were set ablaze by unknown people and he went to check the situation at the farm on the day he was abducted.
Narrating his chilling experiences, Oladeinde said: “I went to my farm on Sunday, February 20 to check the situation after more than half of the farm were set ablaze by some unknown people on February 6, 2022. The farm is at Kurere Village on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
“I decided to go on commercial motorcycle to check the farm and after spending some time there, I decided to return home. I was waiting for commercial motorcycle when three men came from nowhere and surrounded me. I thought they were hunters who were also waiting for Okada, but I was wrong.
“After surrounding me in such a way that I could not escape, one of them slapped me, the others joined and pushed me to the ground. One of them carried a gun. They beat me up so much that I could not stand again. They then forced me and pushed me into the nearby bush. That was how the deadly journey began.
“As they were going deeper inside the forest, we got to a stream and it was there they ordered me to remove my clothes which they used to blindfold me. After some time of beating me with sticks, they removed the cloth and ordered me to continue moving.
“By that time, I was extremely weak. I thought the end had come. Then from Sunday, February 20, we were going from one place to another in the forest. They also seized my phone and told me that they would collect N10 million ransom before I would be released. I told them I am just an ordinary farmer. They later reduced the money to N5 million.
“I was receiving beatings everyday. They later contacted my wife and demanded for the money. We were together from Sunday, February 20 till late Friday night/early Saturday, February 26. I was begging them to leave me but they would not listen. The one among them who carried the gun was the most wicked.
“However, I was lucky on Friday night approaching Saturday morning when I found out that the one carrying gun who was monitoring me was fast asleep while the second was dozing off. I did not know the whereabouts of the third person. Later the second one also slept off. I tip-toed and started moving slowly till I got to the stream area. I was ready to end it all through my act.
“After crossing the stream, I started running and I ran through the forest from midnight till around 5:00 a.m. when I got to a road. As I got to the road, sometimes I would run, when I was tired I would be walking briskly. I did this till I saw about three women who ostensibly were going to the market. I asked them where I was and was told that I was close to Isaga.
“I asked them how I could get to the town and they gave me the direction. I continued running towards Isaga until I saw a commercial motorcycle rider. I told him my predicament as I looked very dirty and the man did not want to wait, probably taking me for a lunatic. After telling him what I went through, he carried me on his bike to the town and he also borrowed me his handset which I used to call my wife.
“After some time, my wife and some family members came down to Isaga to pick me. After getting home, I quickly reported the matter at the police station and I led the policemen to the scene but we could not get the three young men.”
According to him: “My brother, the slaps I received in their den were so much that up till now, I could not hear well. I suffered the worst moments of my life from these young men who spoke language that I did not understand because if they had spoken Hausa, I would have heard what they were saying.”