Some of the freed 53 passengers kidnapped by terrorists while travelling in a Niger State government-owned NSTA bus in Niger State have continued to narrate their experiences in the kidnappers’ den.
The passengers recently regained their freedom following the intervention of the state government.
Narrating his experience in an interview with ARISE NEWS Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, one of the freed victims said they could neither sleep nor drink water.
He said the bandits subjected them to serious torture, threatening to kill them.
“You can’t sleep the way you want, wake up the way you want, eat the way you want. Even drinking water was a problem. They will be beating you and shooting guns up and down,” he said.
According to him, “The bandits insisted that it’s either they should come and bail us all or they will kill all of us.”
He disclosed that they trekked for 24 hours in the bush and could only stop when they asked them to stop.
“Before you match the brake, they started shooting. It was when they shot the car that I just stopped,” the freed victim said in a narration of how he was captured.
He noted that he was pressing his phone when he just felt the bullet on his head. “They said I should continue moving with them.”
The freed kidnap victim also disclosed that the bandits complained that they are homeless and their cows stolen and wondered why the government should ask them to leave the bushes without giving them anything.
Another victim also disclosed that the bandits were always communicating with some people.
He said: “There are people they were always communicating with. They said that whatever we wanted to do, we must take permission from them. Whatever you wanted to do, they would ask you what are you going to do? Or they will call you and say, ‘come here, do you have money to bail yourself?’
“They will ask you how much? Do you have N5 million? Most of us will say, no that the highest we can give you people is N100, 000 or N150, 000. Before you know it, they will just beat you.
“I thank God, but they seriously beat me and my friend.”
According to him, the bandits started beating them on Friday.
“On Saturday morning, around I.30 am, they asked my friend and me to wake up and they carried us to one place and they asked us ‘can you bail yourself’ and while we were asking them how much, before we knew it, they started beating us.
“Then one of their leaders came out and asked them to stop beating us and they asked us to return.”
He also narrated his experience on Saturday night when the elderly one among the bandits was communicating with someone outside and the gunmen asked all the victims to lie down, while they were waiting for instructions from outside. (ThisDay)