Two months ago Amalu Ngozi was on her way to Abuja for the handover ceremony of the national executive of the Catholic Women Organisation Nigeria (CWON) when she and other travellers ran into an operation by Fulani bandits.
Amalu, who was only just able to tell her story on social media, recalled the traumatic experience and how the driver of the bus and a lady had been kidnapped. The incident happened “at exactly 6:50pm on Tuesday, March 2, 2021”.
“Our vehicles — one Sienna Executive and one Hummer Bus — ran into the operation of the dreaded Fulani herdsmen/bandits at a popular spot in Geggu, a notorious part of Kogi state just less than an hour’s drive into the Federal Capital Territory Abuja,” she said.
Their journey had earlier been delayed because the Hummer bus had electrical issues on the way, while the Sienna Executive was delayed by “Nail Blocking Men” who collected tolls for both Benue and Kogi State governments. The men had insisted on taking emblem money despite knowing it was an official vehicle, Amalu said.
“The bus driver who was always ahead of us was carrying two young ladies (both Accountants) working in the office of the National President (now Emeritus) stopped on sighting the Fulani herdsmen/bandits and made their way into the bush for safety with the two ladies as they later narrated to us, while our own driver with the Sienna reversed immediately and we headed back to Lokoja that we left over two hours earlier.”
However, as they reversed, the bandits shot at them. They took cover under their seats and started praying. After the storm, they called the driver and the two ladies who had run into the bush. Only one of the ladies picked up and told them the both the driver and her colleague could not be found. They had however both left their phones in the car which had now been towed to Geggu Police Station.
At the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Lokoja, where they spent their night, Amalu said, “We were traumatised to the extent that we could not sleep in different rooms, but opted to sleep in one room.”
The next morning, they continued their journey to Abuja and stopped at Geggu Police Station where they wrote a statement, and confirmed that the driver and their colleague had been kidnapped.
While the lady who was kidnapped has been released after ransom was paid, the kidnappers have held on to the driver till today. The spate of kidnapping across the country continues to rise, with authorities unable to solve the challenge of insecurity.
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