Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Mrs Nkechinyere Onachukwu, a woman kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen in Ishiagu , Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State last week has been been rescued.
The woman was kidnapped in her farm in Amaonye Community in Ishiagu last week Tuesday.
She was released on Monday following manhunt by security agencies in conjunction with the Council security led by the Chairman, Emmanuel Ajah.
Mr Ajah confirmed the release of the woman to Journalists on Tuesday in Abakaliki, capital of the state.
He narrated that the council had to bring in security trackers from outside the state to track the kidnappers movement.
“When security agents we deployed to track them were closing in on them they were forced to release her,” the Chairman said.
He noted that security agencies are still on the trail of the kidnappers with a view to arresting them.
Mr Ajah explained that kidnapping has almost become a thing of the past in the council area since his administration came into office.
He said the few kidnapping incidents recorded is as a result of herdsmen who cross the border from Abia State to grab women in their farms and run back across the boarder.
The Chairman explained that the kidnappers were traced to a forest deep inside Abia State before they released the woman when the heat became too hot for them to handle.
He said: “Before I came on board, places like Ojukwu bus stop was like a death trap. Nobody could move around that area but we mounted surveillance teams in that area and other flash points.
“We continue to work with security agencies and our own local vigilante to ensure we maintain security in the area. Our people can now sleep with their eyes closed,” he said.
He, however, lamented that the cost of maintaining security in the area has risen astronomically due to high cost of petrol used in fueling the patrol vehicles on a daily basis.
“But we shall continue to do all within our powers to ensure we maintain security because no meaningful development can be achieved without security,” he vowed.
My ordeal in the hands of my abductors – Victim
Recounting her ordeal, the victim, Mrs Onachukwu said she was in her farm when she was kidnapped by herdsmen.
She said they trekked for days before they got to the kidnappers den inside a thick forest.
“I was in my farm harvesting cassava when I heard a whisper, I turned and saw many men from all directions coming at me, I tried to run but they caught up with me and took me hostage.
“As I started to shout for help they started flogging me with their machetes and asking me to keep quiet. They dragged me into the bush”
“From there we trekked through bushes through the night until we got to a place where they brought out mat for us to lie down and sleep”
“The next day we continued till we got to their camp where they had make shift huts. There they called their boss who understood pidgin English. The rest were speaking their language,” she said.
“Their boss came and I started begging him to let me go but he said no that they will deal with me, that Ishiagu people are wicked.”
“He brought a phone and asked me to call anybody I know, so I called my husband and told him what happened. And from there they started negotiations,” she narrated.
Spokesperson of the Police, Onome Onovwakpoyeya could not be reached for comments at the time of this report.
She did not respond to messages or take calls placed to her phone lines.
Kidnapping has been on the increase in the state in recent times. An INEC official and a farmer was killed on a road leading into the council last month by gunmen who abducted the INEC official’s wife.
On July 10, gunmen also kidnapped a Catholic Priest, Joseph Azubuike, of St Charles Parish Isu in Onicha Local Government Area, and about three of his companions.
He was later rescued a few days later.