Oluwafemi Oyedepo, a farmer in Ayete, Oyo State who was kidnapped days ago has narrated his terrible experience in the hands of his abductors. Oyedepo spent four days in the den of the kidnappers where several of his fundamental human rights were trampled upon.
It was gathered that Oyedepo and his two partners were ambushed by gunmen on Friday in Konko area of Ibarapa, a town notorious for herdsmen attacks. Oyedepo was travelling to his farm which is around Felele village when the gunmen ambushed their van.
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Oyedepo was unlucky as only he was captured out of the three people in the van at the time of the ambush. His partners escaped but Oyedepo was captured and dragged against his wishes into the forest.
Oyedepo narrated how the abductors first demanded a ransom of one hundred million Naira but later settled for six hundred thousand Naira. He said he was severely tortured until Tuesday when he was released.
He said, “I left Ayete town in a van with two other people before 7am. The incident happened around 8am. Some kidnappers came from behind and started shooting. Three others appeared in the front. We quickly came down from the vehicle and tried to escape.
“They chased after us and caught up with me. They said I was their target. We walked inside the bush and slept wherever the night fell. We could feel the presence of the police and vigilantes where they kept me but they warned that if the police attempted to rescue me without paying ransom, they would waste my life.
“It was a bitter experience. They beat me up anytime they wanted to ask something from me. My face got swollen from beating; it was too much. They were cooking rice but I could not eat it.”
On his first day, Oyedepo was not given water to drink. When he could no longer handle the thirst, he licked off drops of water on leaves.
He remembered that the kidnappers once threatened to kill him when negotiations concerning his ransom became unfavorable to them. He also noted that they were Fulani because that was the language he heard them speak.
He stated, “They eventually collected N600,000 ransom. They gave me N500 and asked me to pray for them. I prayed for them that they would find favour. They started from N100m and later insisted on N5m. I saw it as a favour that they eventually collected N500,000 so I prayed that God will favour them. The favour may be death or repentance. I am grateful to God for my life. I have little children and a wife to take care of.”
Micheal Olawumi, a partner of Mr Oyedepo also narrated his side of the story. He said the gunmen ambushed them some minutes after they left a police checkpoint in Konko village.
The gentleman who said he was the driver of the vehicle stopped when he heard a loud noise. He thought the tyre had busted.
He said, “Mr Olufemi (Oyedepo) asked me to stop. The third person at the back sighted two men with guns from the back but we thought they were hunters. As we wanted to continue the journey, we saw a group of gunmen wearing masks. Others were wielding cutlasses. We disembarked and ran inside the bush but they caught one of us.
“They went away with my phone that I was charging inside the van. But when they released the man, they returned my SIM. I suspect that insiders gave those kidnappers information about us.”
The Police has confirmed the incident and has began investigations into the incident. The victim has been assured that his abductors would soon be apprehended.