…Says people ran away when they saw him
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
the story of the miraculous and audacious escape of Nollywood star, Mr. Mcdonald Oti, from a gang that kidnapped him about two weeks ago is reverberating throughout Ebonyi State.
Oti, who is the Special Assistant to the Chairman of Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Board (ESUBEB), was abducted from his home in Abakaliki on April 22, 2017 about 8.30 pm and driven away in his Toyota Highlander SUV, to Ohatekwe forest in Ezza North Local Government Area of the state.
The kidnappers took everything he had on him and then stripped him naked. While narrating his ordeal, Oti said that he was abducted by three stern looking men, who forced him into the boot of his vehicle.
His words: “They were three persons, two came down from their car while the third person who drove their own car remained inside the vehicle. The two men got into my vehicle. One drove my car while the other pointed a gun at my head where I was in the boot section of the SUV. They told me that someone sent them to kidnap me, warning that I should cooperate so that they would not kill me. They took everything I had with me and then asked for the PIN of my ATM card. They also asked me where I work and inquired whether the vehicle has a tracking device. They drove through Abakaliki metropolis without any policeman stopping them. Their own vehicle, a Toyota Sienna, was behind us.”
When they stopped near a forest, Oti explained that a vehement argument broke out between the abductors as to whether he should be shot or not. At this point he felt an overpowering urge to run for his life. As the argument continued, he responded to the urge and bolted into the dark forest, discountenancing any thought to slow down. As he was running in the darkness, he sustained injuries. Fortunately, the abductors could not pursue him through the forest in the dark. After waiting for 30 minutes, thinking that he would come out, and he did not, the abductors drove away in the direction of Ezza North LGA, as he watched from behind a thicket.
Continuing the harrowing tale, Oti said: “I came out from the forest completely nude and traumatized. I approached a woman for assistance but she immediately took to her heels. I met another man and he took off too. While I looked for safety and covering, I saw a flex banner that announced a burial that had taken place. I tore off the banner and wrapped it around my waist, to cover my nakedness.
“Then I walked across the expressway and got to the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. After identifying myself and explaining what happened, the people I met gave me boxer shorts to wear. I honestly don’t know the last time the boxer shorts had been worn, but I was very grateful for it. It was when I got to the police station that succour came to me. What actually helped the situation was that my wife was not also abducted with me.
“When I was taken away, she raised the alarm, and informed the police and my associates. Men of the police force sprang into action and were able to recover my SUV. And since then, they have been working hard to arrest the culprits. I am quite grateful to my neighbor, who is a retired naval officer. He alerted police and other security agents when he was informed about the abduction. The headquarters of the Ebonyi State Police Command, sent signals to all police divisions and stations as well as patrol teams and alerted them to watch out for the vehicle.”
After getting to the expressway, Oti reported to the police traffic post along Enugu-Abakaliki expressway, and the policemen there radioed the police command headquarters about it. Not long after, some policemen from the headquarters came and took him to the command, where he met with the Commissioner of Police and other senior police officers.
As would be expected, Oti is filled with gratitude to God, who he said threw confusion into the midst of the abductors, which created the opening for him to escape successfully without being shot or even pursued into the bush. He is more grateful for the grace and courage God gave him to make the escape bid without fear.
“I want to commend the police for their indefatigable effort to recover my SUV and their continuing operations to track down and arrest the kidnappers. I am thankful to all the people who kept praying for my safe rescue. I owe all a huge debt of gratitude. I pray that the Lord God will bless every one of them. I am deeply thankful to my wife, for the right and prompt steps she took immediately after I was taken away. In fact, I can’t thank God enough for her,” Oti gushed.