Former Ondo state Speaker, Hon. Victor Olabimtan who was kidnapped and released last week, has narrated his experience at the hands of his abductors.
He was addressing some journalists at his residence in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
According to Olabimtan, he was forced to trek bare-footed in the bush for several hours alongside other captives by their abductors.
He added that they were put inside a deep pit in the bush where they spent their night.
Olabimtan who is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress was abducted last Sunday night at Kwali on his way from Akure to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Before his release, he spent four days in the hands of his abductors who only offered them bread and stream water as their daily meal.
The APC chieftain confirmed that Ransom was paid , but did not disclose the amount of money that was paid..
The victim, who was received by his supporters said, “it was exactly 6:35pm, we got to a spot and I was hearing gunshots and the gunshots were so much and I asked my driver, what was happening.
“When I saw those who were shooting, they were in camouflage uniform of the army and the police, I thought it was the police and the army that were exchanging gun fire
“It was later that we discovered that they could be armed robbers, when we learned that they were armed robbers, we have to stay where we are
“They have captured so many vehicles, they have blocked the road in front and we had to stay and they started searching every vehicle.
“When they got to my vehicle, they asked for what I have and I gave them what was on me, very little money, not much money, I gave it to them, they left , they said we should lay down and I lay down.
“And within the twinkle of an eye, some of them came, and said “where is Oga, where is Oga” and as they were saying where is Oga, they saw me where I was lying down beside the car
, they said “na you be the owner of this car” and I said yes.
“That is when they said “stand up”, they just hold me by the waist and started dragging me into the bush and when I wanted to resist, they gave me a dirty slap, in fact my eyes turned blue and I had to obey them and follow them.
“At that initial level, they dragged me into the bush, and they said I should stand up and be walking, I should be following them, they held me by the waist and I was following them.
“A lot of things were coming into my mind, I said could they be ritualist, after all they have taken money, why are they doing what they are doing
“And we were into the bush, we have walked for about 30 minutes, they asked me to stop, where I was, three others people were brought to the same spot and one of my captors said
I should stand up and walk into the bush, and I felt if I stand up and am walking into the bush, if he shot me from the back, that is death.
“I refused, I said No, I said am going to stand up here, he said walk into the bush, I said No. He has this cutlass in his hand, he used the flat of the cutlass to beat me at the back, and I refused to move. One of them came, he said “leave him, leave him, don’t bother, leave him.
“They said I should sit down and I sat down, and after about 30 minutes, we started the journey into the bush, we left where we were kept by 8pm and we had to continue to walk inside the bush
“I was walking bare footed because my shoe, everything have been removed. So, I was following them, some were in the front leading us, others were at the back following us and by 11:30, we arrived at a spot
“When we got to that spot, they said we should all lay face down and we all lay face down and what I discovered was that, I was trying to watch to see what they were doing , I discovered that the money they raid while the operation lasted on the road, they were sharing the money
“After sharing the money, they now said, this is where we are sleeping and we were there till the following morning.
“And by exactly 4am they said we should be on the move and we started another journey from 4am till 11:30am that same day
“It was that day that they first talked to us, one of them came to me and asked “How much do you have” I said I don’t have money , he asked again, “How much is in your bank account?
“I said there is no money in my bank account that if you want to know, phone is with you, bring my phone I can check my account there and you will see my balance there
“He said okay, “Who do you know that can give you money to bail you out. He said my ransom was N20million, another person, they said his own was N10million, another person, they said his was N5million.
“Then I asked, How can my own be N20million, and they said “Na you be oga nah, you no see yourself , you no see the car wey we take you from, na you be Oga , say who you be sef.”
“When we were in the bush in the night, I had this my card on me, the card that I made where I put this thing that I use as complimentary card to give to people. It was on me, I had a rubber band, that has my picture and my name on it.
“I tried to remove it and while we were still in the bush the previous night, I hid it underneath leave, I cut some leaves. I put it on top of it, and there, I left it because I don’t want them to know my identity, because knowing my identity could prove very difficult. They could say they were settling for N100million and that could be very disastrous.
“When they asked, I said okay, I have people I can call, let me call my son, they said okay, they gave me my phone and said call your son, and what I did was that, when they gave me the phone, I was trying to send a message to my son instead of calling.
“They just took the phone from me, they said we asked you to call your son and you are sending text message. They said you will die today, inside me, I knew I was not going to die by the grace of God.
“After sometimes, they came back, they say, who do you want to call? I now gave them the number, they called, from there, they were the ones negotiating, the only time they will call my attention was to say, “your people are not cooperating and because my people were not cooperating, “they will threaten me, one of them put dagger on my neck as if he wants to cut it and said tell them that they want to kill you now, so that they can get the money, and I will just say, please , whatever you can raise , please raise it and bail me out.
“To be sincere with them, they gave us food, and the only food they gave us was bread, they gave us bread, I didn’t eat because I was fasting and I wanted to fast, but there was no water.
“I requested for coke, they now brought coke the following day, and gave me one bottle which I drank in the night after breaking my fast, I drank it , I didn’t eat the bread” Olabimtan narrated.
“What happened is that, you don’t sleep in one place twice, after leaving that deep pit. We will always be moved in the night, nobody moves you in the morning, they don’t move you in the day time and I don’t know why they were doing that.
“The third day, they moved us in the night around 7pm. We moved and moved and moved from 7pm till around 1am$
“We were trekking inside the bush before we now got to a mountain and there, you will be seeing a part of kwali and Gwagwalada clearly, and they said, this is where we are going to stay till you will be bailed.
“And by 4pm on Wednesday, came the cheering news from them, that your ransom has been paid and the ransom of the Chairman Muslim Pilgrim welfare board has also been paid and that, that day, they were going to release us and that we should be prepared for release.
Olabimtan asked government to make unemployment important, as it will take appreciable number of hoodlums off the street.