…After four days in kidnappers’ den
…Abductors made us drink from pond where cattle drank water’
By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Oba Joel Daodu, the Oniyani of Iyani, who was kidnapped penultimate Saturday and released days later by his captors, has blamed the incident on civilization and Christianity which, according to him, made traditional rulers to lose their traditional power unlike before when to come near a traditional ruler was a taboo.
“The inability of Obas to complete their traditional rites made them vulnerable to attacks not only from kidnappers but also from other sources”, he stated.
“We were made to drink from the pond where the cattle drank water. We slept on the rock and were made to trek long distances during our captivity.”
Whereas Daodu was kidnapped on Owo-Ikare Expressway, he was released at Ogbese in Akure North Local Government Area of the state after four days in captivity.
Daodu told journalists at the weekend that he was kidnapped alongside one of his chiefs, the Shaba of Iyani, Olugbenga Giwa.
According to him “spending the Easter period in the den of kidnappers is not an experience I would not pray for even my enemies”.
The monarch said the incident happened around 4:30 pm penultimate Saturday after he left his hometown on his way to Akure when his vehicle ran into the abductors at a spot in Oba-Akoko who forced him to stop after shooting at the tyre of the vehicle.
“ I and one of my chiefs travelling with me were dragged into the bush by the kidnappers.
“We kept moving for the four days of our captivity, we were only allowed to sit on the rock whenever we were tired.”
The Oba described the experience as “harrowing”.
We were in the bush climbing hills, sleeping on top of rocks. It was terrible. I don’t even want my enemy to pass through this experience. I didn’t know it was Easter. Their (kidnapper) leader asked me to pray for him so that he could quit the job.” He said his captors confessed to him that they were forced into the job because of the bad economic situation in the country.
Also speaking, Giwa, said he was accompanying the monarch to Akure when they ran into the kidnappers who whisked them away.
Giwa said their abductors wore mask but later unmasked when they got talking with them (victims).
Reacting to the develop-ment, Ondo monarchs, under the auspices of De-130 Krowns Club, condemned the kidnapping.
Speaking after an emergency meeting of the traditional rulers, the Owa Ale of Ikareland, Oba Kolapo Adegbite-Adedoyin, and the Olu of Igbokoda in Ilaje, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, said there was need for government to ensure adequate security and welfare for monarchs in the state.
The Obas said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu should see the kidnapping as a challenge, saying “ any assault on any traditional ruler is an assault on the state government.”
“ We are appealing to the government of Akeredolu to ensure that every Oba in Ondo State is given adequate security and that security is adequately funded by the state government”, they said.
They commended security agencies for the release of the kidnapped traditional ruler.