Mr Clement Uhembe, the immediate past Commissioner for Higher Education in Nasarawa State, has spoken about his ordeal following his abduction by kidappers.
Uhembe who was kidnapped on Tuesday by suspected bandits has recounted his ordeal to Saturday PUNCH after regaining freedom.
The victim, a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Federal University, Lafia, was released by his abductors and he reunited with his family at about 9pm on Thursday after payment of an undisclosed amount as ransom.
The ex-commissioner was kidnapped at his personal house at Akunza Migili, on the outskirts of Lafia, the state capital, and his abductors demanded N30m as ransom.
Narrating his ordeal in an interview with our correspondent, Uhembe said he saw hell in the kidnappers’ den, adding that he was chained for three days without food.
He said, “My abductors chained me throughout the time I was in captivity and threatened me not to talk too much because I was trying to make them see reason while they should denounce their criminal ways and find legitimate means of livelihood.
“I trekked for about six hours with them from my house where I was kidnapped to a thick forest around the Adogi area of Lafia. There are many other victims abducted from different parts of the country who are still being held in that forest. I observed that they have a strong network and a unique way of communication within the forest.”
He, however, disclosed that he was handed over to another set of the abductors on reaching the forest on the day he was kidnapped.
He added, “They run shifts. Some of them will go out and abduct their victims and hand them over to another set of people upon getting to the forest. Those ones are responsible for chaining and monitoring the victims.’’
“The kidnappers camping in that forest are in large numbers. Ten people abducted me. Out of this number, eight were armed with AK47 rifles while the remaining two had machetes and other sharp objects.”
He stated that his abductors could speak almost all the local dialects in the state.
Uhembe said, “My experience in the kidnappers’ den is something one will not wish even his worst enemy to pass through. I really saw hell. They told me they were misinformed by their informants about my financial status. They said they told them that I am rich, receive N1.5m from the state government monthly and own a flashy black car.
“My abductors told me that on reaching my house, they observed that there was no power and my fence had no gate so they wondered what kind of rich man I am whose compound had no gate and was living in darkness.’’