Folakemi Fadoju, a mother of three and a timber merchant in Ondo town, Ondo state has raised the alarm that kidnappers live like kings inside the forest along Ore/ Ijebu Ode road highway.
The 41-year-old mother said this while narrating her ordeal to Vanguard after she escaped from the kidnapper’s den.
Folakemi, who spent four days in their captivity, was abducted alongside her seven-year-old son in Ondo town, Ondo state by four gunmen in her sawmill at about 645 am.
She explained that the four gunmen invaded the sawmill located in Oka along Ondo-Ore road around 6:45 am while she was at the sawmill to settle a business transaction.
The traumatized mother said the hoodlums, who blindfolded her, bundled her and her sick son into a waiting vehicle, shooting into the air, before taking them to a forest along Ore- Ijebu Ode where she spent four days without food or water.
Narrating her ordeal, Folakemi said that “I left early for sawmills to attend to some business and pay my workers who are travelling on this fateful day, but no sooner that I entered the sawmill, these men dragged me into their vehicle, blindfolded me and drove off.
“They drove for some hours and we had to trek to their hideouts where I met two other people tied to the trees. They demanded my phone which they used to call my husband. They threatened to kill me if my husband tried to play smart by informing the police.
“The kidnappers contacted my husband and negotiated for N15 million ransom to secure my freedom and our little boy.
“They told me they were kidnappers and said they abducted me because of ransom. They said if I don’t have money they will take my life.
”They tied me and two other people l met inside the forest and subjected us to all forms of torture and threatened to kill me and my son if my husband failed to produce the ransom within 48 hours.
”They tortured me and others with no food or water to drink but they gave my boy water for the four days. They operated in the forest like a king.”
On how she escaped “our escape from the hands of the kidnappers was made possible due to divine intervention, l can’t explain what happened in the forest while the abductors had to leave them alone.
”On the fourth day, we started hearing gunshots in the forest, it was exchange of gunfire and it was so heavy that the two men assigned to guard us had to leave to join other members of the gang to see what was happening.
“They warned us against leaving the camp but no sooner they left, that one of us suggested we should try to escape and it worked. Even though I was weak, tired, and sick but I managed to walk for over an hour before coming out at the J4 area where we met a Samaritan who listened to our story and took us to the police in Ondo town.”
She said the case had been reported earlier at the Yaba police station by her family.
“It was a nightmare and the trauma is not explainable as the incident keeps recurring. I experienced it and survived it by the special grace of God. I never wished my worst enemy to go through what I passed through because it was so traumatizing.
She, however, appealed to the security operatives in the state, to move into action and raid all the forests along Ore/ Ijebu Ode road that the criminals use as their hideouts.
Folakemi said ”many people are still in that forest waiting to be rescued.”
Funmi Odunlami, the state police command spokesman, said that total war has been declared on “criminals who want to give the peaceful sunshine state a bad name.