Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
The kidnapped former Commissioner for Higher Education in Nasarawa State, Chief Clement Uhembe, has regained freedom after spending three days in the kidnappers’ den.
He was released by his abductors and reunited with his family in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, last Thursday at about 9p.m. after payment of an undisclosed ransom.
Gunmen had at about 8:30p.m. of last Tuesday, kidnapped the former commissioner, who is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the Federal University of Lafia, at his residence at Akunza Migili, an outskirt of Lafia metropolis, and demanded N30 million as ransom for his release.
Chief Uhembe, while recounting his ordeal in the hands of his abductors to sympathisers at his residence Thursday, said he saw hell in the kidnappers’ den as he was chained for three days without food.
He recounted: “My abductors chained me throughout the period I was in captivity and warned me not to talk too much, because I was trying to make them see reason why they should denounce their criminal ways and find legitimate means of livelihood.
“I had trekked for about six hours with them from my house where they picked me to a thick forest around the Adogi area of Lafia.
There are many other kidnapped victims, abducted from different parts of the country, who are still being held in that forest. I observed that they have a very strong network and a unique way of communication within the forest.”
The university don further revealed how he was handed over to another set of the abductors on reaching the forest on the fateful night.
“They run shift. Some of them will go out and abduct their victims and hand over the victims to another set of people upon reaching the forest. Those ones are responsible for chaining and monitoring the kidnapped person(s).
“The kidnappers camping in that forest are in large numbers. Those of them that came and abducted me were 10. Out of this number, eight were armed with AK47 rifles while the remaining two had machetes and other sharp objects,” he narrated.
According to him, “the kidnappers were specialists in their form of crime, who understand and could speak almost all the local dialects in the state.
“My experience in the kidnappers’ den is something one will not wish even his worst enemy to pass through. I really saw hell.
“They told me they were misinformed by their informants about my financial status. That the information given to them about me was that I am rich, I receive N1.5million from the state government every month and that I own a flashy black car.
“The kidnappers also told me that on reaching my house they observed there was no light and my fence has no gate so they began wondering the kind of rich man that the entry point to his compound has no gate and was living in darkness,” Uhembe further revealed.
He thanked God for sparing his life and appreciated the state government, security agencies, his colleagues, friends and relations for their prayers and support towards his safe released.