Nigeria: My Ordeal in Kidnappers' Den - Village Head

Birnin Kebbi — The Village Head of Tungar Mallam in Suru Local Government Area of Kebbi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Sarkin-Yaki, said he lived on water only for four days while in captivity in the den of kidnappers.

Narrating his ordeal, Sarkin Yaki said about a fortnight ago, the daredevils came knocking.

He said: "The kidnappers were eight in number and each one of them was carrying a AK47 rifle, while I could see many other rifles inside a sack by their side," he recalled.

"The kidnappers stormed my house at about 1.00 a.m. on Sunday."

Sarkin- Yaki added that they woke him up and asked for money and that after they realised there was no money for them, they decided to beat his wife.

When all pleas went into deaf ears, he told them to exercise some patience till the following morning for him to look for some money to settle their demand.

"I told them to wait so that I can scout for the money; they said no.

"Instead, they decided to take me away into Gworon Dutse bush, which is located close to the highway linking Dakingari and Bunza towns.

"We trekked for about five hours inside the bush," he recounted.

Sarkin-Yaki added that while on the way to their den, they subjected him to all forms of humiliation despite his old age.

"I spent four days in their den without food.

"They only give me water to drink.

"I had to force myself to live on the water in order to survive.

"Prior to taking me away, they discovered that I do not have a cell phone.

"They, therefore, kept a SIM card behind my house and covered it with a piece of cloth and some leaves. "

While in captivity, he said his relations stumbled over the empty SIM card that was deliberately abandoned in his house.

After inserting it, the kidnappers who were monitoring the SIM Card immediately placed a call to them for negotiation to begin, he stated.

"It was through that SIM card that the kidnappers communicated with my family.

"They demanded for a N4 million ransom but my family members told them they could only raise only N2 million in a few days."

The Village Head said he regained his freedom with an agreement that he would complete the rest of the amount but did not say whether the kidnappers gave him an ultimatum within which the money must be paid.

When contacted, the chairman, Suru Local Government Area, Alhaji Umar Maigandi, declined to comment on the matter.

On his part, the spokesman of Kebbi State Police Command, DSP Nafi'u Abubakar, said that the Police were doing everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book.

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