…Escape from hell
By Dayo Johnson, Akure
LIKE the biblical Daniel, who was delivered from the jaws of lions, right inside their den, a student of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Oluwaseun Mary Olaniyan, has experienced divine escape after 11 days in kidnappers’ den.
Divine escape because it was when her captors were quarrelling with their clients over the prices to sell the body parts of another victim in their custody, who had been slaughtered, that she summoned courage and fled into the bush even without knowing the direction she was heading.
Recall that three other female students of the institution were kidnapped and slaughtered by suspected ritualists who have been arrested and paraded in Akure, Ondo State capital by the police.
The breasts and hands of the victims, according to the suspects, were sold for N15m.
Analysts said the college appeared to be turning to a market for ritualists, going by the number of students that have been declared missing in the last few months.
The stories of their kidnapping are similar: Abductors pose as Okada riders or taxi drivers ready to convey the students after lectures to their homes outside the campus.
Findings showed that majority of the students live off campus and the number of those who troop out on daily basis after school hours makes it easy for people with criminal intentions to operate.
The three murdered girls were taken away on Okada, according to the arrested suspects.
The decomposing corpses of two of the three students, Oladepo Blessing and Oluwasemilore Mary, were recovered by detectives inside thick forest.
However, Mary Olaniyan, who escaped from her captors, saw an opportunity and she took it.
Narrating her ordeal and how she escaped from the kidnappers’ den at a thanksgiving service in her parents’ church – the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ogunsulire Street, Ondo – Mary said she was kidnapped by some men in a vehicle painted in Ondo State taxi colours at about 6.30pm outside the main gates of Adeyemi College of Education.
“I boarded the taxi alongside a lady at the location in Ondo town”, she stated.
“The two of us were going to Yaba in Ondo town. As soon as I boarded the vehicle, I became unconscious. I later found myself in a building located inside a thick forest
“We were six captives in the hideout and we were fed with water. We saw some strange men who had come in an exotic vehicle to collect something l believed to be human parts taken from murdered victims which were concealed in a cellophane bag.
“My escape from the kidnappers was divine. It was while they (kidnappers) and the clients were quarrelling over the price for the items inside the cellophane bag that I took the opportunity to escape into the bush.
“I trekked inside the forest until I got to the Ile-Oluji/Ipetu-Ijesa Road where I met a lady and asked her for direction to Ondo town. The lady told me I was very close to Ile-Oluji. When I got to Igbo Oja, I made efforts to reach my mother on her phone.
“I contacted my mother. My father then called me and I informed him that I had reached Itanla junction along Ondo/Akure highway.”
During the church service, the escaped student’s’ parents, Mr and Mrs. Akintan Olaniyan, were full of praises to God for the safe return of their daughter.
The news of the escape of Mary spread across Ondo, causing residents to troop to the church to catch a glimpse of the lucky girl.
Sunday Vanguard learnt that similar scenario played out inside the College of Education as students and workers were seen expressing joy for the safe return of Sister Mary, as she is fondly called.
The parents thanked the college authorities, the police and other security agencies for their efforts to free their daughter from the kidnappers.
The Provost of the college, Dr Olukoya Ogen, Sunday Vanguard was informed, equally thanked God for seeing Mary through the kidnappers’ den.
Ogen appreciated security operatives for their efforts to find the student at the time she was missing.
He also lauded the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo, and the staff of the institution who prayed for the safe return of Mary.
Meanwhile, worried by the security challenges in Ondo State in the last few months, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has met with security chiefs, traditional rulers, council Chairmen and other stakeholders across the state.
Cases of kidnapping of students and traditional rulers, cult war, armed robbery, Fulani herdsmen’s attacks, arson, amongst other crimes, have, of recent, increased anxiety across the state.
Akeredolu, during the meeting, expressed concern over the security challenges since he assumed office.
“There have been some security challenges in the state since we came on board”, he stated.
“There have been cases of kidnapping, murder and arson in some of our communities. The menace of the Hausa-Fulani herdsmen in the communities also increases by the day.
“In sum, the lives and property of our dear people have been at great risk”.
The governor said that the meeting with the stakeholders was “to deliberate on this ugly development with a view to taking drastic measures to end the security challenges”.
Akeredolu went on, “My administration has already taken some proactive measures to ensure the security of the good people of Ondo State with the deployment of more security personnel to the state.
“This is to ensure the security of lives and property of the good people of Ondo State. By the grace of God, never again will Ondo State witness the kidnapping of any of our traditional rulers.
“I wish to appeal to our traditional rulers to continue to cooperate and collaborate with this administration in the maintenance of peace in their respective domains”.