An Anglican Bishop serving in Edo state has lamented the kidnap by Fulani herdsmen of one of his clergies, who is the incumbent Vicar, Our Savior’s Anglican Church, Oyobunni, Okpe Kingdom, Rev. Can. Emmanuel C. Chikunie.
He was eventually released after paying N1 million based on the advice of an ‘official’ of Directorate of Secret Service (DSS), who simply gave his name as Adamu.
According to the details made available exclusively to New Telegraph, Chikunie was abducted on Saturday September 29, 2018 around 5:17pm along Okpe road as he was driving from Igarra to Okpe, his station with his entire family in his car – wife and three children when he was abducted.
The Bishop said the kidnappers came out from the bush shooting sporadically and abducted the whole family but released the wife and children to go later.
He said: “When we arrived at the scene of the incident, we met a detachment of the Nigerian Army. Officers from the DSS met us there. Also, men from the Nigeria Police Force came around. They all asked several questions which were answered.
“All of these law enforcement agencies followed us to the hospital where Mrs. Confidence Chikunie (wife) was been treated from bullet wounds on her forehead and buttocks. They also asked questions at that point before leaving us.
“They further directed that as soon as the kidnappers contact us for ransom, we should furnish them with such information.
“We were made to believe that the DSS, Akoko Edo unit, has initiated the process of tracking their location after we furnished them with the information of the first call from the kidnappers. Painfully, that was all we got. The Director, of Nigerian Army Detachment in Akoko Edo was called; he said the DSS would call them for action when it becomes necessary. The DSS also promised to follow up another lead, but we heard nothing about that lead thereafter till today.
He pointed out that after three nights and four days in the captors’ den and several calls to the DSS, “the response we got was an SMS asking us to cooperate with the kidnappers to save the life of this clergyman.”
The text message, which was sent with a number from one of the telephone service providers, goes thus, “Good evening sir, please I been directed to inform you that you should play along with the kidnappers so that the pastor will be released within the shortest possible time. Some of the members of the kidnappers group are already in our custody and the office have (sic) their numbers.”
According to victim, his captors for the three nights and four days were five men of Fulani extract (three with guns, two with cutlasses). The young man, who took the ransom to the kidnappers, confirmed that the two armed persons, who came to collect the ransom of N1million were Fulani men. After the ransom the clergyman was released.
“We didn’t contact the SSS but the head of SSS called. He has kept calling till after the release. He even planned to visit the clergyman to further hear from him. I cannot be too sure if he has eventually visited,” he added.