The traditional ruler of Rubochi community in Kuje Area Council of Abuja, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Pada, who recently regained his freedom from kidnappers, recounts his travail while in the den of his captives.
Alhaji Pada, while speaking with our reporter at his palace, yesterday, said his experience in the hands of kidnappers for three days inside the forest was terrible, adding, “In fact, I don’t wish even my worst enemy to be in that kind of condition because it was terrible. It was only God that saved me.”
He said he was forced to trek for over 11 hours, crossing streams and climbing mountains bare-footed the day kidnappers abducted him from his house.
He said the kidnappers, before they whisked him away, beat up his two sons and inflicted machete cuts all over their bodies and ransacked the house including his wife’s room and carted away valuables including undisclosed cash.
He said though the kidnappers did not manhandle him as he didn’t show any resistance. “Their commander even cautioned his boys that they should not touch me since I didn’t show them any form of resistance or struggle with them,” he added.
The traditional ruler said he was not allowed to observe his five daily prayers while in captivity, even as he said he was surprised that the leader of the kidnappers preformed ablution and prayed.
“In fact, their gang leader always performed ablution and prayed when it was time for prayer while his boys stood guard on him. He said I can’t pray,” he said.
The traditional ruler, however, said on arriving at the kidnappers’ hideout, they cooked rice, which they took away from his house, and gave him some to eat, but that he told them he was not hungry.
“The next morning, they cooked the rice again, which they gave to me to eat, but I only tasted it with two small scoops and that was all since they insisted that I must eat the rice,” he said.
He said the kidnappers, on the following day cooked yam, which he said they gave him to eat but he declined, telling them again that he was not hungry.
Alhaji Pada, however, said he was shocked when he saw gunmen invade and operate freely for almost one hour.
“Can you believe it, the leaders of the kidnappers told me that they were hired to come and assassinate me and my family, but they decided to spare me after they discovered that I didn’t show them any resistance and my approach to them was not aggressive,” he said.
The traditional ruler said it was quite unfortunate that no security were deployed to either his house or the community after the gunmen’s attack, stressing that there was need for government to address the problem of insecurity in the FCT.
“It is high time government did something about this issue of kidnapping that is now taking its toll on the people. And it seems the government is not doing anything about our palaces as there is no security, even our chairman of the council of traditional rulers also does not have enough security, which is very unfortunate,” he said.
He said traditional rulers mostly go about with their palace guards (Dogari), adding “my own was even the worst as the four days I was held captive and set free, no police even came here to say welcome or even talk of police man here.”
He added “I can’t imagine that I was whisked away by gunmen for three days and no police or civil defense was posted to my house except for the youths that were guarding my house. What kind of nonsense is that,” the traditional ruler wondered.
He therefore thanked his subjects for their prayers for him to be set free, alive and without being hurt by his abductors. He urged them to remain calm and peaceful as they go about their activities.
He also called on them to continue to be security conscious and avoid making unnecessary comments wherever they were.