A lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Abia State University (ABSU), Don Chris Afulike has regained his freedom after being abducted alongside others on Thursday, August 19.
The lecturer who broke free from his abductors on Friday narrated his ordeal to Prime Business Africa over a telephone call on Sunday.
Afulike, who was still talking slowly obviously due to exhaustion, said the incident happened along Uturu and Isuikwuato Road in Abia State as he was heading home from work that Thursday.
He said, “I was kidnapped after work on Thursday. I was heading to my hometown, Isuikwuato which is also close to the university. I had left Uturu approaching Isuikwato when I ran into about nine men; I think I was the fourth vehicle there, a professor with his brother and family, one Reverend Father and his brother and one other commercial bus, my own vehicle and the one behind me.
“Out of everyone there, they selected six of us and marched us through a bush path. We trekked within Isuikwuato-Uturu bush route to around Okigwe in Imo State. Then from there, the following day in the evening, we moved again from that Okigwe axis back to Uturu and crossed towards Ihube in Imo State, Ihube shares boundary with Uturu. We walked within the boundary location of the two communities, and moved towards Umunneochi axis.”
On how he escaped from the kidnappers, the lecturer said, “It was when we got to a point where they said everybody should lie down and rest, I was one of the first persons to sleep. I slept a little and woke up and discovered that everybody was asleep, that was between 2am and 2:30am and I was the last person on the line. They had all moved forward and slept. We slept in a line by the small bush track, so we all slept crossing our bodies within the track.
“I was the last person on the track, so when I discovered everybody was sleeping I had to crawl. I crawled like 70 metres then walked squatting until I got to an area where I felt the bushy environment had covered me and took off. That was how I escaped and navigated my way to the main road going towards Abia State University.”
He said his colleague, Rev. Prof. S.O Eze and others were still with the kidnappers.
When asked if he knew where the kidnappers came from, Afulike said, “About six of them spoke Fulfude, that’s Fulani. I also noticed that two had Igbo accent and whenever two of them wanted to communicate they would move backwards, away from everyone. There was one among them that had this Akwa Ibom-Cross River accent.”
Activities of bandits and kidnappers have in recent times increased across the country, and nothing much has been done by security agencies to protect the citizens.