…Anti kidnapping squad of the Nigerian police, Rescued us – Kidnapped victim
On Saturday the 14th day of December 2019, passengers onboard G.U.O. transport heading to Port Harcourt were kidnapped in AHOADA, a town just before Rivers state.
The bus left Lagos around 7:38 am expecting to arrive at Port Harcourt at most 10 pm.
At the time of arrival, families and relatives waiting to receive their loved ones and could not, relatives of those abducted bombarded GUO customer Care line with calls needing information about their loved ones.
When GUO was contacted, the Company’s PRO, Ikwueme Chukymambo confirmed the incident but denied that nothing was done to save the abducted passengers as widely claimed.
“We have contacted the kidnappers and also reported the case to the police that is all I can say”.
However, one of the victims who spoke with vanguard said, “A manager of GUO transport whose name he gave as Alhaji claimed that he finally got in touch with the kidnappers on Tuesday and they’ve finalized to a sum of #1 million naira for the release of the kidnapped passengers. Then He said G.U.O can only contribute #500,000 naira while relatives of the victims should contribute #100,000naira each to sum up the one million to free them”.
He said, “The Kidnapped Bus has been taken to the station and its in custody of the Police and G.U.O are devising means to bail out their bus and then avoid paying for damages and properties lost by the passengers”.
“All I seek for is justice and payment due to damages done to me as all my original certificates, international passport, phones, medications, clothes, shoes, and other personal items including the medical bills that is currently running to treat my battered body”.
In a similar vein, another victim Jonathan Jackson narrated how they were kidnapped, “I boarded a bus going to Port Harcourt using G.U.O transport company at Cele-Okota bus terminal on Saturday 14th of December, 2019”.
“The G.U.O bus that conveyed us to Port Harcourt had a different plate number from the one that was on the ticket that I bought from them and I never understood why there was a swap, then at about 7:38 am the bus left Lagos for Port Harcourt”.
“At about 5:30 pm, the driver was putting up a great effort to move the vehicle because he said the shock absorbers had issues and he managed it until about 8 pm when the bus had a flat Tyre at a place known as AHOADA”.
At this point, the passengers were terrified as the area looked insecure.
“After fixing the tyre, we were about entering into the bus, some unknown gunmen dressed in Camo with guns and machetes emerged from the bush and forced everyone to alight from the bus with baggage and valuables and they deflated the tyres of the bus one again”.
“We trekked for hours bare feet into the unknown forest of AHOADA”.
“When we got to a point, we were ordered to sit down on the grasses and our phones were collected and other valuables found on us”.
“At this point which was on Saturday night, we remained in their custody until Sunday morning when the kidnappers contacted G.U.O Operations Manager about the kidnap and the manager offer a hundred thousand naira to release everyone out of five million naira which infuriated the kidnappers and they began beating us mercilessly then calling various family members including my elder sister and mum”.
“On Monday the next day, the kidnappers called G.U.O and the company further offered the kidnappers the sum of #200,000naira”
“At this point, the kidnappers began threatening to kill then while inflicting injuries on my relative warned G.U.O that if they don’t take care, they’ll kill the driver and every passenger and burn every G.U.O bus they get hold of”.
“ Then suddenly, one of the kidnappers hit my head with a cutlass causing blood to flow from my head. We remained without food for the duration of the captivity until Tuesday when they ordered us to eat bread and water”.
“On Tuesday evening the 17th day of December, one of the kidnappers was sent to pick up an undisclosed amount of money in order for us to be released, then a few minutes later we were ordered to march forth and suddenly the kingpin of the kidnap group said in pidgin English”
“Shebi una think sey una smart Abi, All of una naa bad market sef, if I say make I start to shoot Una one by one, this stupid police go catch us” then suddenly one of then hit my head hard with the sharp edge of the machete, at that point I lost consciousness and woke up finding myself in the hospital”.
“I use this medium to appeal to the general public to be security conscious while travelling with any transport company and ensure that the company should be responsible enough to protect their customers to the best of their ability”.
“GUO has shown a non-committed attitude towards my ordeal and all they are trying to do currently is to protect the corporate image of their company”.
Efforts to further reach the PRO of GUO transport on the response of the police proved abortive as the calls made to his phone were not taken.