BY PETER DURU, MAKURDI
Even as he ponders the mystery behind his recent near-death experience, 13-year-old JSS two student of Government Secondary School Gboko, Dooyum Moar, strongly feels that his escape from the den of ritual killers in Gboko, Benue State calls for celebration.
The promising teenager who, alongside another female student of Ggoko High School, narrowly escaped being beheaded by a ritualist after being kidnapped by a commercial vehicle operator, is still traumatized by his experience.
Narrating his ordeal to Vanguard Metro, VM, Dooyum said he erroneously believed that the transporter who conveyed him from Makurdi to Gboko was a good man who should have treated him like a son.
”I actually wept when I discovered that the driver of the vehicle masterminded our kidnap shortly after he pretended that he cared for my safety and that of the girl who was also returning back to school.”
Dooyum who was still in shock, however, acknowledged that it was God who rescued them from their abductors.
”God saved me and the girl. When they tied us up and took us to a forest to kill us, we started crying and calling on to God to come and save us.
”Miraculously, when they took us to where they would behead us, the person they took us to refused to kill us but asked our captors to take us away and kill us by themselves.
”When they took us away, the men who abducted us started quarrelling among themselves; and at that point none of them could summon the courage to behead us as they were told.”
Corroborating the story of his son, an elated father of Dooyum, Mr. Ephraime Maor told VM that on the said day, he had taken his son to the Wurukum motor-park in Makurdi, where he boarded a vehicle to Gboko to resume school.
He said he would have accompanied his son to school that morning but for his busy schedule. “Moreover, Dooyum has been going to school on several occasions unaccompanied without problems considering that Gboko is not far from Makurdi.
”But at that particular instance, it became clear that entrusting your child into the hands of anyone, especially a stranger, could have its dire consequences.
”I had prayed with him before putting him in the commercial vehicle which had other passengers and was heading to Gboko, a trip that was less than 80 kilometres from Makurdi.
”I gathered from my son that when they were less than five kilometers to Gboko town, just at Yandev, the driver of the vehicle complained that the vehicle had developed a fault.
”He was said to have parked the vehicle, ostensibly in the pretense that the vehicle was immovable and would require repairs.
”But moments later it became obvious that nothing was wrong with the bus. The driver adopted the decoy to ensure that other passengers aborted their trip with his vehicle in order to provide him a platform to execute his evil plot, but the God who gives children never allowed it.
”My son said, at that point most of the passengers opted to board other vehicles, but the driver urged my son and another female student of Gboko High School to wait for another vehicle he contacted to take them to their destination.
”He said, few minutes later, a Toyota Hilux van came and the two of them were asked to board the vehicle; but on getting to their destination, the driver of the van refused to stop, the occupants of the van tied up the children and blindfolded them.
”My son said they were taken to a forest in Gboko, where the kids were tied up and presented before an aged women in a shrine.
”According to him, the woman had wanted to behead them for rituals, but later changed her mind after she discovered that they were not the category of children that would suit the sacrifice,” he informed.
Maor continued: “At this time, my son said they were crying and begging for mercy; my son said, the woman however handed a machete to one of the kidnappers and instructed that the two kids should be killed on their way back.
”However, along the way, by divine intervention, instead of killing the children, their abductors engaged each other in a heated argument and they could not be able to agree among themselves on how to kill the children.
”Eventually the kidnappers could not reach a compromise hence the kids were not killed as instructed by the ritualist.
”While still engaged in this heated argument, their abductors dumped them at Apir in the outskirt of Makurdi town were a good Samaritan picked them up and took them to a safer place at Ikayonge from where I was called.”
He said he hurried off to Ikpayonge where he met his son crying uncontrollably after which he narrated his bizarre ordeal .
The elated father said he immediately established contacts with the parents of the female abductee who also rushed to the scene after which the children were brought back to Makurdi where the incident was reported to the police.