Rev. Fr. Augustine Ashigabu, a Catholic Priest in Nasarawa State, has thanked God for his release, as he narrated his ordeal in the hands of abductors.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the priest, who was kidnapped on April 7, regained his freedom on April 9.
He told NAN in Garaku on Wednesday that he was kidnapped along Keffi-Gudi-Akwanga road of Nasarawa state.
Ashigabu, who is also the Vice Principal of St. Peter’s College, Garaku, Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, appreciated God for his safe release.
Recounting his experience, the priest also expressed gratitude to his parents, friends and Nasarawa State Government for their efforts toward ensuring his “safe release”.
“My appreciation goes to my parents, some well wishers and family friends for their donations for the payment of my ransom before my release from the hands of my abductors.
“My appreciation also goes to the government of Nasarawa state, especially the Deputy Governor, His Rxcellency Dr Emmanuel Akabe, for his care and concern.
“He called my parents severally during my captivity and called me also when I returned and even visited me to see for himself how I was doing.
“I was kidnapped on Tuesday, 7th April, 2020, between 7.30 p.m and 8 p.m when I was returning from Akwanga just before Government Secondary School Gudi, and later released on the 9th of April, 2020, at about 10 p.m.
“I heard voices, then the passenger vehicle turned backward and when I beamed my light, I saw six men all carrying guns and shooting and shouting that I should stop.
“I quickly placed my car on park light on the road without putting off the engine nor the lights.
“They came pointing guns at me and asking me to come down from the vehicle, this I did and laid flat on the road.
“They held my hand and began to run into the bush,” Ashigagu said.
He added that on the second day, April 8, they gave me garri soaked with sugar and at about 11 p.m, they gave me bread and a bottle of coke.
“On the third day, April 9, 2020, at about 5 p.m, they gave me cooked food brought in a leather bag. But we drank more of water which they fetched from water cluster in the farms we passed through,” he said.
The priest said that ransom was paid before he was released, but declined to disclose the amount.
“I know some money was paid but I do not know how much. This is because I was not told neither by my captors nor my parents,” he said.