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The abducted woman, Mrs. Nkechinyere Onachukwu, who fell victim to suspected herdsmen in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government area of Ebonyi State last week, has been confirmed to be rescued from her captors.
Last week Tuesday, the woman was kidnapped on her farm in Amaonye Community in Ishiagu.
Her release on Monday was the result of the collective endeavours of security agencies and the Council security, with Chairman Emmanuel Ajah at the helm.
Speaking to journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital, Mr. Ajah verified the woman’s release on Tuesday.
In his account, he detailed the Council’s move to engage security trackers from beyond the State borders in order to track the kidnappers.
‘When security agents we deployed to track them were closing in on them, they were forced to release her,’ the Chairman said
He made it clear that the security agencies have not discontinued their efforts to track and arrest the kidnappers involved.
According to his account, kidnapping has experienced a sharp decline in the council area since he became Chairman.
Mr. Ajah attributed the sporadic incidents of kidnapping to herdsmen crossing into the area from Abia State, kidnapping women on their farms, and swiftly making their escape back across the border.
He narrated how the kidnappers’ hideout was pinpointed in a forest deep inside Abia State, which lead to the woman’s release when they could no longer withstand the intensified search efforts.
He said: ‘Before I came on board, places like Ojukwu bus stop were 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.
However, he voiced his frustration at the substantial surge in security maintenance costs within the region. The soaring price of petrol required for daily fueling of patrol vehicles has added to the financial strain.
‘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 pledged.
The victim bravely narrates her ordeal during the time she was held captive by her abductors:
Mrs. Onachukwu recounted her distressing experience of being kidnapped by herdsmen while she was working on her farm.
She went on to describe the arduous journey they took, walking for days until they reached the kidnapper’s hideout hidden deep within a dense forest.
‘I was on 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 lay 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.
Despite efforts to obtain comments, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, the Police spokesperson, remained inaccessible at press time.
She remained unresponsive to messages and calls made to her phone lines during the period of the report.