From Mokwugwo Solomon, Nnewi
Traditional ruler of Uruagu-Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Obi Afam Obi, has recounted his ordeal in the hands of gunmen who abducted him.
Speaking to newsmen in his Uruagu palace, yesterday, the monarch said: “On February 12, I attended the burial ceremony of my mother’s elder brother, in Uru-Dunu, Ifite Oraifite, in Ekwusigo council of Anambra State.
“On return to the palace, I informed those in the palace that I needed to be somewhere, and that I would be back soon. Upon driving out, on Nkwo-Nkwo Road, I observed that a Camry car was trailing me closely, so I remained alert and unwavering. Seeing that they were up to something, I abruptly took to the road leading to Ichi mortuary in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, but they followed me.
“When the fully armed and masked young boys intercepted me, came down from the car, one of them held the handle of my car door, threatening me with gun (AK-47). As he was not able to open the door, he used the butt of the gun to break my windscreen and door glass.
“The others started shooting sporadically into the air. I had to surrender by turning off the engine. I opened the door myself. They searched my car, picked up my phone, and we drove off in their own car while they covered my face with mask.”
He recalled that whenever they arrived any police checkpoint, the kidnappers would remove their face masks, and would help him remove his, and demand his cooperation. The kidnappers, he revealed, also posed as his police escorts as they journeyed to their den.
“Two days later, precisely on Sunday, my abductors informed me that there was a planned protest in my community, concerning my kidnap. They admonished me that I should instruct the palace to ensure the protest did not hold or they would take my life. For the first time, they gave me my phone to make calls for that purpose.”