By Tom Moses
IKOT-ABASI—15- year-old Secondary School student, Thank God Udo Jeremiah, a native of Ikot Akpan Udo Village in Ukpum Ete Clan, Ikot-Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State, Sunday, escaped death by the whiskers after being abducted by three heavily-built young men suspected to have come from neighbouring Amazaba Community.
Narrating what happened, Young Thank-God Jeremiah told the VANGUARD in Ikot-Abasi that he went to work in his father’s farm on the fateful day, but unknown to him he was being trailed.
Thank God said he had started working in the farm for about ten minutes when the three men came out from hiding and pounced on him, with one holding him by the neck and the other two men holding unto his legs and dragging him into the forest.
“I was overwhelmed with fear because apart from these three men being physically stronger than me, they also carried machetes but God made them to forget that they had machetes on them, otherwise they would have butchered me like a cow.
“I can’t tell where I got the strength from as I struggled with them seriously and freed myself from their vicious grip before attempting to run away but they had fenced me round such that an escape became impossible.
“So, since I was stronger than they had imagined, the three of them started throwing punches at me, hitting me everywhere. Then, I started shouting for help and God answered my call when a motor-cyclist heard my shouts, stopped and asked from where he stood, what the matter was.
“Upon hearing the man’s voice, they took to their heels. That was how God rescued me from the hands of those evil men and I started tracing my way from that forest they dragged me to till I found myself in Ikot Ikwot, a neighbouring village to Ikot Akpan Udo,” Thank-God narrated.
Thank-God’s father, Chief Udo Jeremiah, while confirming the incident, said the family had suspected that something was amiss when Thank-God did not return home when he ought to.
“So, one of the brothers, Sabbath, immediately rode a bicycle to the farm to find out what must have delayed him only for him to notice signs of trodden upon plants and foot-prints indicating that there was a tussle in that farm.
“So, he rushed back to inform us and the youths of the community that his brother, Thank-God, had been kidnapped. When the youths mobilized for a search and didn’t find him, we concluded that he must have been killed.
“I thank God that he escaped from them because there is nobody that had been captured by the Amazaba people since 2008 that has been found till date and as we speak, I don’t know whether I would have killed myself before now if Thank-God did not escape from those Amazaba people,” Chief Jeremiah stated.
He lamented that he was still in grief over gruesome murder of his uncle, the late Akpan Timothy murderd by the Amazaba people in 2008 just as the burden of training and taking care of his four children are undertaken by him. He added that the murder of his son by the same people would not have been palatable.
Meanwhile, there is serious tension in the entire Ikot-Abasi following the rampant cases of kidnap and terrorist activities in the area.