By Izunna Okafor, Awka
In furtherance of the fight against insecurity in Anambra State, security agents in the state have rescued two kidnap victims in less than 24 hours after their abduction.
The victims were said to have been abducted on gunpoint on Tuesday by a three-man gang of heavily-armed men operating in a Honda Pilot.
It was gathered that the kidnappers stormed the Abatete—Alor—Ogidi road on Tuesday evening and started operation immediately, during which they abducted two men, Engr. Emeka Joseph Ezeigwe (male, aged 64) and Dr. Peter Ifeanyichukwu Okafor (male, aged 45) and zoomed off immediately to an unknown destination, in one of the victim’s vehicle, alongside their own operational vehicle.
On getting the information therefore, the security agents quickly mobilised for a rescue mission, tracking the abductees all through night, and after which they eventually rescued them in a bush in Ojoto, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state, at about 5.am on Wednesday
Narrating their ordeals in Awka, the rescued victims explained that their abductors abandoned them blindfolded in a vehicle right inside in the bush when they sensed that they were being closely tracked by security operatives, and therefore took cover to lay an ambush.
One of the victims, Engr. Ezeigwe, a retired civil servant from Abatete in Idemili North said he went to pick his wife from her shop at about 6.pm on Tuesday and was waiting for her to finish up before someone immediately alighted from a vehicle and pointed gun at him right inside his vehicle, Lexus 330 RX, ordering him to step down from the vehicle.
“Immediately I came down, one entered the vehicle and drove it out a little, while I started running, and they pursued me, held me by my cloth, and I stopped. And they kicked me and forced me inside my car after initially trying to force me inside the boot.
“After a short while, they used my car to block this my co-victim in his own car and also forced him to join me. And after that, they blindfolded us and drove us away, into an unknown bush,” he narrated.
Engr. Ezeigwe further revealed that it was when the abductors abandoned them in his vehicle right inside the bush to go lay an ambush against the perceived security threat, that they escaped from the vehicle. He also explained how they established contact with the security operatives from inside the thick forest who sleeplessly worked all through the night until they eventually rescued then in the early hours of Wednesday.
On his own part, the second victim, Dr. Okafor, who is a medical practitioner, explained that he initially mistook the abductors for policemen on duty when he sighted them with guns from far along the Abatete-Alor-Ogidi Road, without knowing they were actually kidnappers until he drove near to a point that it was already too late for him to reverse and escape, as they immediately blocked him with the first victim’s car, burst one of his tires with gunshots and commanded him to step down.
He further said the abductors could not drive him away in his own car, Lexus Jeep GS 470 gold colour, 2005 model, because the tire was already damaged by gunshots; hence they forced him to join the first victim in his own car, and zoomed off.
He also revealed that they were mal-handled and roughly tormented within the short period they stayed in the hands of their abductors, as they sometimes beat and hit them with their guns.
While thanking God for saving their lives, the duo also appreciated the security operatives in the state for their doggedness, which, they said, had also boosted their confidence and public trust on the Nigerian security apparatus and their readiness to deliver and to fight insecurity in the country.
While opining that people actually know the bad eggs and perpetrators of crimes in their community and localities but usually feel reluctant to expose them, the rescued victims advised individuals to always avail security operatives with the necessary information that will help them to fight crime in the society rather than shielding evil, which will, in turn, affect them.
They also advised the residents to also always be vigilant and security conscious at all times, as security is everybody’s business.