Victims of unknown gunmen attack, have narrated how they escaped from their captors in Benue State.
The gunmen hijacked a Benue Links vehicle along Makurdi-Naka road, in Gwer West Local Government Area of the State
The kidnappers, according to reports, abducted 18 passengers.
Information understands the incident took place while the vehicle was conveying passengers from Otukpo to Makurdi.
Three of the victims who escaped from the hands of the abductors said the incident happened close to a military checkpoint, along the Naka – Makurdi road.
Blessing Omashi, one of the victims, said she was travelling to Makurdi from where she would proceed to Abuja when the incident occurred.
She said: “We had just passed the soldiers spot and then got to their own spot when the kidnappers stopped the vehicle. We thought they were soldiers, but we didn’t know that they were armed men. They were wearing army uniforms and wielding guns. They shot into the air as they led us into the bush, where they were still holding some people. They were up to 15 in number.
“I escaped in the night. I slept in the bush that night. I was coming from Otukpo to Makurdi en route to Abuja. They made us walk for over 40 minutes and kept changing locations. They spoke in English and the local dialect and Hausa. They were not masked. It was around midnight that I sneaked out of the line and escaped. They molested us”
Another victim, who pleaded anonymity said: “Before now, people thought these kidnappings were propaganda when the former Governor Samuel Ortom used to shout. I must say he is my hero. This was what he tried to avoid. I think the present government should continue from where he stopped. Nobody is safe in this State.
“The security men heard gunshots, but could not do anything because they needed to get a signal. We need a security team that will be proactive. I saw five of them heavily armed, shooting sporadically, but they shot at nobody. They spoke in Fulani and English shouting ‘move or I waste you.'”
Raymond Mbabov, narrating his ordeal, said: “I was coming back after attending a Chinese Exhibition in Lagos. I usually travel by air, but due to the cost, I decided to go by road. We got to Taraku and the driver of the vehicle had to transfer us to the Benue Links bus. I am not familiar with the road, but one or two people complained that the road was bad with lots of potholes. It was a lonely road, but the driver insisted that it was shorter.
“Just shortly after the military checkpoint, we saw a group of people with torchlights speaking Fulani and passive English. They were very aggressive and started breaking windows of the vehicle and said if we did not come down, they would spray us. The passengers shouted at the driver to open the door.
“The first person they identified was me. I was holding two phones and a power bank. We were 18 in number and they lined us in a straight file. As they were taking us to wherever they wanted, I had already made up my mind to run, if they shoot me at least my family will see my body to bury. I was ready to bear the consequences. I ran off with others, too, going different directions.
“They did not bother to go after us, but concentrated on the remaining ones. I went into the bush and there observed that the military were riding on bikes and shooting into the air to where the Benue Links vehicle was parked. I later went to the military point and explained myself and asked them to try and rescue the others. But the soldiers said they had not got any signal.”
via: Information Nigeria