One of the six students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, said they attempted to escape from their captors three times in the creek. The victim, who preferred not to be named, said when the kidnappers refused to release them after collecting ransom from their parents, they decided to escape. According to him, in the first attempt, they all agreed to run, but because they did not know the terrain they decided to stay back in order not to endanger their lives.
He said: “The second attempt was when we heard that they wanted to use us for sacrifice to appease their gods, we all came together and said we were going to run, but we could not make it out of fear.
But we made another attempt. “On that fateful day, the kidnappers had gone out, but the guard who was with us in the camp had slept off.
I went to where he was sleeping and took his phone to call my father to ask if we could escape.
“When I called him, he was surprised and warned us not to take such risk, because will could get killed in the process.
Aside that, we did not care about the consequences in as much we were out of the creek. But, again, we dropped the idea because one of us was reluctant to support it, coupled with my father’s advice. “When they were making the efforts to escape the kidnappers were not aware.
“When they called our parents to demand another ransom but our parents refused to bring the money as promised.
That night, they brought us out and started beating us and put their phone on speaker for our parents to hear our cries. They also threatened to sacrifice us to their gods.
“The night they beat us, one of us started vomiting blood while the second person also fell sick.
When the person they assigned to guard us noticed the two of them, he immediately informed the leader of the kidnappers who brought a nurse the following day to take care of those who took ill.”
The boy explained that in the creek, when those who took ill were not getting better, one of them suddenly became a prayer warrior.
He added: “When the kidnappers noticed the way he prayed, they nicknamed him pastor. I was called the general because I was the only one who confronted them when we were not satisfied with what they gave us.
“Our first week in the creek was hell, we slept on palm fronds. We also urinated and defecated in the open.
But when our parents promised to pay them, they started taking good care of us. They gave us Eba and crayfish for two weeks, but most of the food they gave us was always their leftover.”
The victim said that it was a bitter experience living in the creek for two months. He, however, said when the kidnappers noticed that police were after them, they were moved from Lagos to another creek in Ondo State.
“A week before we were released, the kidnappers told us that we should thank the Ondo State government for intervening in the matter. From then we didn’t sleep at night, we were always praying for God’s intervention.
“A night before our release, the leader of the kidnappers came into our camp and appealed to us that we should forgive them for abducting us, that it was the situation of the country that pushed them into crime.
They promised never to return to our school again.
“Very early on the day they wanted to release us, they gave us clean to bath for first time and asked us to prepare that they were handing us over to the Ondo State deputy governor and the state commissioner of police who later brought us to Lagos.”