Sowore: How I Escaped from Kidnappers’ Den – Rescued Rev. Sister

Contrary to the claim by the Edo State Police Command that it rescued one of the kidnap victims out of the five abducted around Okada on Saturday where the younger brother of Omoyele Sowore, Olajide was killed, the victim, Emmanuella Anyanwu, said to be a Catholic reverend sister, on Monday told newsmen that she indeed escaped from her abductors.

Anyanwu, from Imo State, who said she was from a nunnery in Ghana, identified her abductors as Fulani herdsmen. She however hid her true identity from the kidnappers whom she said were very harsh on the male victims. She said two female and three male were abducted.

According to her, “they were very harsh and they warned us not to look at their faces. They also warned us not to talk to each other.

“They were beating the men but spared the women. I sustained the wounds on my body when I was trying to find my way out of the bush”.

Giving a blow-by-blow account of her experience, she said “On Friday, we were coming from Lagos to the East and our vehicle broke down around Okada in the outskirts of Benin. We passed the night in the vehicle. At about 6.30 am to 7am, some men came out from the bush shooting at us and we surrendered.

“They took our belongings, including our phones and marched us into the bush. It took us almost two hours to get to their camp. They blindfolded us. So, they started calling us one after the other and I was the last person they called.

“They asked me where I was coming from and where I was going. I told them that I was coming from Lagos and going to Imo State for my husband’s burial. They asked how many kids I have, I told them two and I also told them I sell groundnut in Lagos.

“They asked if I was the one providing the money to bury my husband and I told them his brother will do that. They also wanted to know what my sister is doing and I told them she sells bread in the village.

“They asked if I knew them, I said no. They asked if I knew the police and army, I told them I don’t know those ones. They told me they were kidnappers and said they abducted me because of ransom. They said if I don’t have money, they will take my life. I asked them how much they wanted. But one of them was furious that I was asking them questions.

“I told them I needed to know the ransom. They asked if I had N10m and I told them there was no way to get that kind of money. I told them I will give them N500,000 from money gathered from my village. One of them said I was a fool and they told me to sit down.

“Then it started raining heavily and they went away and brought one man again. So they took something from that man and their attention was on it. So I removed my blind-fold and decided to escape; but I decided to shelve the plan till midnight. But my spirit told me to escape because I would not have the opportunity to do so in the night because the abductors don’t sleep in the night. I crept and that was how I escaped”.

On how she was found by the police, the reverend sister said she sighted a mast far away and started trekking towards it, adding that “After one hour or more, I got to a road and saw an elderly man on motorcycle and I asked him to take me to the police station, which he did”.

Asked about the identity of the kidnappers, Anyanwu said “I believe they are Fulani because on that Saturday afternoon, they released their cows and they came to where we were being held”.

She said she was not aware of any death because they were firing at moving cars.

Felix Olajide Photo
Felix Olajide

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