By Peter Duru, Makurdi
They vowed to kill me and my unborn baby and my three and half year ~old daughterÂ if my husband failed to pay them N20 million as ransom for our releaseâ€.Â These were the words of Mrs. Nkechi Odidika who, alongside her little daughter, Sandra have just been rescued by Men of the Benue State Police Command from the den of kidnappers who abducted them two days ago from Kebbi state en~route one of the southern states.
Mrs. Odidika was said to have been abducted from her house at Youri in Kebbi State by four well armed young men who had besieged her home last Tuesday demanding the where about of her husband.
According to her,Â the men had insisted on seeing her husband who was away to work but when the armed men realized that they would not be able to reach her husband, they asked her at gun point to pack few of her belongings and that of her three~ and~ half ~year~old daughter for a trip that would cost her husband N20million.
Narrating how it all started, she told Crime Guard, â€œI was at home with my daughter on Tuesday when four hefty~ looking men knocked at my door and when I enquired their mission to my house, they said they wanted to see my husband.Â Â I told them that my husband was away to work but they insisted that they must see him.
Then they pretended that they were leaving .Â Â But came back and asked me at gun point to pack some of my cloths and that of my three ~and~ half~ year old daughter for a trip outside kebbi state and when I tried to resist, they threatened to kill me.
â€œAt this point I told them that I was pregnant and they would not listen but insisted that if I did not cooperate ,they would waste me and my childrenâ€, she said.
Mrs. Odidika stated that after packing her belongings as directed by the heavily armed men, she and her daughter were bundled into a awaiting car and the men told her that they were being taken to Enugu state.
â€œWhen I started weeping, one of them put a gun on my head and brought out a liquid substance in a small bottle and asked me to swallow it, and after a little hesitation I drank the substance and passed out.Â Â When I woke up,Â I found myself in Abuja in a different vehicle from the one that picked us from Kebbi stateâ€, she said.
It was in Abuja that the gang finally decided to take their victims to Enugu state and while in transit, they also put a call to her husband intimating him that his pregnant wife and little daughter have been abducted and that their release would be effected only when he parted with N20million.
â€œAt that point I concluded that they were out to kill us because I knew my husband will not be able to raise that kind of money and all I did was just to prayâ€, she said.
Mrs. Odidika disclosed that it was on entering Benue State at a village called Daudu that the vehicle they were travelling in developed a fault and the gang made several phone calls and thereafter â€œthey started discussing among themselves that the Police security in Benue would be too tough to penetrate in other to cross over to Enugu stateâ€.
She stressed that they finally decided to pass through Benue State but planned to snatch a vehicle whose owner would take them across the state, â€œbut as God would have it, an attempt to stop a fast approaching vehicle,Â they started shootingÂ in the air and unknown to them,Â the sound of the gunshots attracted a police patrol team some metres away which immediately stormed the scene.
And in the mist of the ensuing confusion, on sighting the approachingÂ Benue Police patrol car,Â they grabbed a vehicle from an approaching motorist .Â As they drove off ,they started exchanging fire with the police menâ€.
The kidnap victim explained that she and her daughter were immediately shielded by the police and upon explainingÂ her predicament, they were moved to Makurdi.Â Â The rescued victims who were taken to Benue Government House at the instance of Governor Gabriel Suswam explained that it was a miracle that they survived the onslaught.
â€œIn fact, it took Godâ€™s intervention and the diligence of the Police in Benue to rescue us from themâ€, she said.
Reacting the to the feat achieved by the Police in Benue State, Governor Suswam stressed that it was a clear testimony to the fact that the police in Benue was alive to its responsibilities.
He noted that it would take a devilish heart to kidnap a pregnant woman and her little daughter just as he applauded the vigilance and determination of the Ibramin Mohammed led Police in the state to frontally fight crime in Benue.Â Â Â He assured that he would continue to support the police in everyway possible to ensure that the property and lives of the people of the state are safe.
Commenting on feat accomplished by his men, the Commissioner of Police, Alh Ibrahim Mohammed stressed that the police in the state would not rest on it oars until all bad eggs in the society are flushed out.
He emphasized that already, his men are on the trail of the bandits assuring that they would all be apprehended soon.
Mohammed said, â€œthe task before us is enormous as crime prevention presents new challenges on a daily basis but be rest assured that we are equal to the task.Â Â Â All we need is cooperation from the publicâ€, the Commissioner said.
The State Police boss thereafter handed over the rescued mother and daughter to her aunties who resides in Makurdi even as he also got in tourch with her husband to inform him that his wife and daughter were in safe hands.