By Agnes Nworie
The farmer we reported in our previous edition as having been kidnapped in his own farm, Mr. Cosmas Idam Ikpor, has dramatically regained his freedom.
Mr. Idam who is also the Assistant Commander of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) in charge of Ebonyi South senatorial zone, glorified God for saving his life after 2 days of anguish in the den of kidnappers at unknown forest.
Narrating his ordeal at vigilante headquarters Abakaliki, Mr. Idamikpor told Citizens Advocate that he was kidnapped at his farm at a place called Ururuagha Ezeke Amasiri in Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state.
“Yes, I was kidnapped by suspected herdsmen last week Tuesday at my farm in a place we call Ururuagha Ezeke Amasiri in Afikpo South local government area of the state. When I finished work at about 5:30pm went to where I parked my car to undress and go home when suddenly six angry looking armed men appeared from nowhere and got hold of me.
“Three of them were armed with AK47 while the other three were having pump action. I noticed they were Fulanis. They introduced themselves to me as kidnappers and commanded me to follow them and I obeyed gently. From there, they took me into a thick forest where I don’t know because I was blindfolded on our way to the place.
After some hours journey they removed the blindfold, yet the journey did not end because we traveled from that time they captured me to around 2am before we reached the forest they kept me.
“The following day, they said I should call my people and tell them that I am kidnapped and they have to give them ten million naira ransom. When contacted my people said they don’t have money but agreed to give one hundred thousand naira instead of ten million.
“On hearing that, they gave me the beating of my life, that my people are abusing them. I was beaten blue black. Then I started begging my people to increase the money for them to guarantee my release.
“I was allowed to speak to my people only in English language in the search for the ransom, I was lucky to speak with our Vigilante state commandant who later mobilized our men and went on investigation in a bid to rescue me.
“He advised me to be loyal and friendly with my captors so that they will not harm me and to always give our men update of what is happening in coded terms, which I did.
“At a time, they brought the ransom down to five million naira, then my people promised to pay three hundred thousand which was not even handy. Fortunately to the glory of God my captors got a call from I suppose their leader that there is an emergency operation they will go for at Ondo state.
“Consequently, they accepted to collect the three hundred thousand naira my people agreed to pay but my people were still running around to raise the money. Following the importance of that Ondo operation to them, I was released unharmed on Thursday evening having spent two days with them in the forest even without any ransom paid.
“Around 1:30pm on Thursday when they were ready to leave and the money was not ready, they said they don’t want to waste my life, they accompanied me to where I was able to come back.
“However, men of Vigilante also kept surveillance on that my farm from where I was kidnapped since they don’t know my current location and the environs to know when the kidnappers will possibly bring me back.
On his part, the state commandant of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria Ebonyi State, Mr. Job Edeh thanked God for the safe release of the officer and called on the federal government to put up more proactive measures in the fight against insurgency in the country.
The Commandant asked for government intervention in the area of provision of patrol vans, befitting office accommodation, modern communication gadgets among others as Vigilante is poised to reduce crime rate to the barest minimum no matter the intimidation from miscreants.
Mr. Edeh described kidnap of the officer as reprisal attack from corruption and pledged that Vigilante will do everything within its reach to fight crime to a stop in the country.Follow us