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Umunneochi Youths Protest Against Nigerian Soldiers Indicted on Kidnapping

A heavy protest is ongoing against the incessant kidnap and killing by herders allegedly aided by Nigerian Soldiers stationed around Isuochi Umunneochi in Abia State on Wednesday.

This was necessitated over the incessant killing and kidnapping around Isuochi, Lokpa, Neato, Uturu, ABSU, and Okigwe which made the youths both men and women troop out to protest against the Soldiers stationed in the axis.

The recent was the kidnap of the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Kanu Uche who narrated his near-death experience after a ransom of N100 million was paid for his release.

The Prelate was kidnapped alongside the Bishop of Owerri Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark and the Prelate’s chaplain on Sunday, in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia state.

Narrating his experience in a Press conference held at Methodist church yaba, Lagos state, the clergyman said their abductors were Fulanis alleging that some personnel of the Nigerian Army from Fulani extraction were aiding the kidnappers in their activities.

In his word; “These people came out from the bush; they divided themselves into 3 places; some people fired at us and there was another group in front to make sure that we didn’t run away; they fired shots at our vehicle and eventually, they abducted 3 of us.

“The communication man of the church was able to escape, the driver was able to escape; they abducted me, the bishop of Owerri and my chaplain and they took us to the bush and were torturing us. It was in the process of that torture that I hit my right eye on a tree. Even when blood was flowing and I was soaking my eyes with a handkerchief, they didn’t feel like anything happened.

“All they said was that we should follow them; that they were not actually against Nigerian citizens but government, that the government is bad.

“they are Fulani boys; all the 8 are Fulanis; they said the day they will see the president or any of his representatives they will chew him raw; that he is their brother but he has disappointed them and has disappointed Nigeria.

”I said even though am part of the government, am a churchman am not a government official; they said okay, that is what has saved you, we would have killed you out-rightly without asking for any ransom but now that you are a churchman, let’s go inside the bush.

“I trekked up to 15 kilometres but I knew that we were rigmarole, going up going down and eventually at 11 pm they said okay now we can negotiate; each of us will pay N50million and we are going to pay N150million. I thought it was a joke; I said we were going to pay 10million and they said what? Don’t say that; they lifted their knife to cut me,  I said please hold on.”

“I said okay. We will pay you N100 million. After some time, they said where are the money and I said this is Sunday night how can we get money this night you know that there is this sit at home in Igbo land. We can’t afford the money now be patient till morning, we will make contacts.”

“I told them we will raise the money for you. But the irony of it, where they were situated, the soldiers all of Fulani extraction, Nigerian soldiers, they were there at Lomara junction and these boys were going behind them. Meanwhile, they kept their cows somewhere, numbering about 200.

He said some people were taking care of the cows while the abductors were parading them around the bush until they settled at a place,

“they said when are you bring the money? I said by noon, I will call the people I’ve contacted whether the money had been raised and I called them, they said that they are gathering the money and they heard it because they said I will use my phone to talk, they can’t use their phone, they don’t want to be tracked

“their leader was born in Igbo land but his parents have died. He said he was born around Umuahia Amuzukwu and his father was a cow dealer, the boy understood Igbo”

He said the leader threatened to kill them if they informed security operatives when they had raised N100million.

The leader asked them to buy 5 ghana must go bags and put N20million in each bag. They left to pick the ransom while four others waited on them with guns.

“around 5;30pm, the youngest boy who I think is a younger brother to their commander said oga congratulations you are free you can go now. We have got our money, you can go. Let me show you the road.

“They took us to the old road, where they wrote welcome to Imo’ and ‘goodbye from Abia”.

“They told us that after buying enough weapons, they are going to bring all those people that were driven away from zamfara, katsina, and sambisa forest that they are all coming to locate themselves in Igbo land and deal with us.

“he said do you know Ibadan expressway? We are in all the bush there, we are also in the south-south, we are waiting for the slightest signal, we will finish you people and take over this land. They claimed that Nigeria belong to Fulani.

The priest maintained that military personnel of Fulani extraction were aiding the kidnappers who disguise as herders in the daytime but are kidnappers at night.

He called on the government to take a decisive action ‘otherwise what is happening in the north will be a child’s play.”

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