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​Lessons Biafra Agitators Can Learn from Catalonia’s Referendum

King Felipe of Spain accused the Catalans of “unacceptable disloyalty”, claiming that they have put the stability of Spain and Catalonia at risk. Sound familiar?

A team of protesters in Catalonia
This week, the North-East region of Spain, Catalonia held a referendum to gauge the people’s willingness to secede.

For decades, the region has gradually grown more nationalist, and now after over two million people voted for independence, it seems like it’s finally on its way to becoming a country of its own.
However, in a somewhat-predictable turn of events that Biafran agitators may relate to, the Spanish Monarch, King Felipe and its Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy have turned their backs on the referendum.
Widespread riots broke out during the vote and Catalonia, including its gem, FC Barcelona, went on strike to protest the violence. As it stands, the situation is at a tense stalemate.
Here are three important lessons that Biafran agitators and sympathizers can learn from Catalonia’s referendum and struggle for independence.

(1) Governments almost never accede to secession.
One of the major subplots of the struggle for Biafra is the underlying resentment between Nigeria’s tribes. Most citizens, especially pro-Biafra agitators believe that the situation is a tribal issue and the circumstances would be different if the country was homogeneous.
While tribal relations are part of the story, as Catalonia’s situation shows us, countries are just generally reluctant to allow regions to secede.
In his morning broadcast to the Spanish people, King Felipe said, “Today Spanish society is fractured and confronted. Those authorities have underestimated the fondness and feelings of solidarity that have united and will unite the whole of the Spanish population, and with their irresponsible attitude they have put the economic and social stability of Catalonia and Spain at risk”.
Sound familiar? You may remember that definite, hard-line tone from President Buhari’s first address after his return from Medical leave and more recently, his Independence Day address.
The reason is simple. Secession splits a country into two parts as well as its resources. The existing country must then re-address its institutions, policies, agencies and economics to suit the development.
More often than not, it puts the two countries in very delicate situations where the risk of imbalance is very high, which brings us to the next point.
(2) The economics must be right
The primary reason why Catalans are confident in their secession is the region’s wealth. Catalonia is one of the wealthiest regions in all of Europe.
The same cannot be said for Biafra. It is why many Easterners, both home and abroad, are reluctant to lend their voices to the struggle.
They point to the millions who died of starvation and the current economic situation in the East, which many have blamed on the FG’s neglect of the region.
On the other hand, Nigeria will be reluctant to let go of resources in the East, human and otherwise. The major commercial hubs in Onitsha and Aba contribute billions to the Nigerian economy every year. On either side, there is more to lose than gain.
A stronger economy reduces the likelihood of unrest, famine and insecurity, circumstances that could lead to an insurgency, cross-border crime and war.
Until the region, and Nigeria as a whole, strengthens its economy, Biafra will continue to appear as a romanticised, nostalgia-driven struggle. The economics must be right.
The economics must be right. Catalonia is confident. The Igbo will follow when they’re confident. Same for Nigeria.
(3) Nations prefer to keep it internal.
This week, after weeks of ignoring the Catalan independence struggle, the European Union stated on Monday, that the referendum and Catalonia’s independence was an internal issue for Spain.
The Spanish King and its Prime Minister had already said in separate broadcasts that Spain will remedy the issue, with no mention of international support.
As Iraq and Turkey have shown with Kurdistan, nations prefer to keep secessionist struggles on an internal level. The reason is that it reduces the risk of things spiralling out of control.
In a world where every country is as prone to terrorism as the next, the last thing a country needs is an international presence that could set the seeds for proxy wars.
Characteristically, international agencies and other countries only interfere where there is a sign of genocide, ethnic cleansing or war crimes.
For pro-Biafra agitators, particularly IPOB members who often stage protests in foreign cities and call for support from other countries, this might be discouraging.
However, it shows that the way forward is dialogue. It is not the only way but it is the most practical.

​Trouble in the Senate as Senator Ita Enang Reveal that Northerners own 80% of oil blocks 

Supporters of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) pushed their case further yesterday at the Senate, with startling facts on the sector. Senator Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom North East) described the opposition to the 10 per cent host community fund by mostly northern senators as “misplaced”.

Enang, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, said that those opposed to the fund should know that over 83 per cent of oil blocks are owned by northerners.

But he did not give the number of oil blocks Nigeria has.

Senator  David Mark, who seemed to have been shocked by what Enang said, said the Akwa Ibom lawmaker should not be distracted (some senators were grumbling) because he was making an important point.Mark asked Enang whether he could substantiate his claim.

Enang promptly pulled out a document from his folder and reeled out oil blocs and their owners.

He said he did not intend to divide the country but to guide those who wanted to contribute to the debate to be truly informed.

He listed northerners who own oil blocks to include Alhaji Mai Deribe, Borno State and owner of Cavendish Petroleum, which operates OML 110 with an average of about N4billion monthly.

He also listed Seplat/Platform Petroleum, operators of the ASUOKPU/UMUTU Marginal Field with Mallam (Prince) Sanusi Lamido, Kano , as a major shareholder and director.

South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO) established by General T. Y. Danjuma, Taraba State , who is also chairman of Eni Nigeria Limited.

SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Limited to become operators of the OPL 246.

AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company is owned by Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello of Kontangora , Niger State.

“They are operators of OML 112 and OML 117,” he said.

He said that a former Petroleum Minister and former OPEC Chairman, Rilwanu Lukman, another northerner manages AMNI oil blocks “with very key interest in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal.”

He said that Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Indimi, runs three oil blocks – OML 115, the Oldwok field and the Ebok field.

He said that Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited, operates OML 108.

Enang said that OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji W.I. Folawiyo. Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo, North East Petroleum Limited, is the holder of the OPL 215 Licence.

North East Petroleum was awarded blocs OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas.

He said that INTEL is owned by former Vice President Atiku, the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Ado Bayero. It has substantial stakes in Nigeria ’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe .

He said that Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration company with six blocks. OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor, which was sold to Addax Petroleum.

Enang urged the Senate to cause the immediate revocation of all oil blocks licences and their redistribution, in accordance with the Federal Character Principle.

He said: “My submission is that when you look at the distribution of those who own oil blocks and the amount of money that comes from the different oil blocks to the Federation Account and you see the owners of these oil blocks, you will agree with me that there is inequity in the distribution of oil blocks.

“The oil is produced in the Niger Delta yet it is the people of the Northeast and the Northwest and a little of the Northcentral, almost nothing of the Southwest and the Southeast, that are the persons owning and controlling these oil blocks.

“Almost nothing for the Southsouth, Niger Delta oil producing areas.

“They are quarreling with the area that takes just 13 per cent when you are producing the entire 100 per cent, you give some to the Federation Account and they give only 13 per cent of what you give and, of course, it is whatever you declared that you have produced. It is actually produced by you.

“I did not want to introduce something that is divisive.

“It is not intended to divide the country, it is intended to say ‘look, let us be realistic’.

“What some of the oil wells and the owners of the oil wells produce in a month and take as profit is sometimes more than what two or three states receive from the Federation Account.”

Enang noted that “when a group of people are richer than a state and then it is produced by you, then there is so much opposition that even the people who suffer the effect of the oil production should not be give host communities’ fund; and we have explained that the host communities fund is not only for the oil producing; it is for any of the communities that hosts oil infrastructure, which includes oil pipelines, refineries, gas pipelines and anything that is capable of causing danger.” 

“If we had the host communities fund, the danger that we have been having in Arepo in Ogun State, the area would have benefited from the host communities fund.”

Enag said that other areas, such as Kaduna and some other states, will benefit from it.

He went on: “If you are producing and declaring only what you like and only the 10 per cent now being provided for the host communities and the 13 per cent which is after deducting everything, that cannot be in the interest of the country.

“What I am asking now is that oil blocs in the whole country should be revoked and redistributed according to Federal Character Principle.

“We are not saying that we in the Southsouth should have all or the Southeast should have all or the Southwest should have all.

“In fact, if there are 18 oil blocs or 36 oil blocks, we don’t mind that you give us at least four, Northeast four, Southeast four, Northwest four.

“At least, let there be equity, but then there should be the principle of who owns it and then you give us more.

“But at this time, we don’t even have it. The 13 per cent is what we are even suffering to sustain.”

Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South) praised the maturity of Senators in considering the bill.

He urged the Senate to look at the “absolute and sweeping powers” granted the President in Section 191 of the bill.

The Section, he said, gives the President absolute and unqualified powers to grant petroleum licences to whoever he pleases.

Lanlehin prayed the Senate to use the opportunity of the bill to design a template that would grow the economy.

Senator Adegbenga Kaka (Ogun East) said he was supporting the bill with mixed feelings.

He noted that the trend of the debate seemed to indicate that senators were more concerned about how to share the cake and not how to bake it.

Kaka said the power granted the minister of petroleum in the bill should be reconsidered “so that we don’t give too much power to the minister.”

The lawmaker who insisted that the bill should be finetuned, said certain percentage of earnings should be set aside to fix electricity, agriculture and other infrastructure.

Senator Mohammed Goje (Gombe Central) said before the debate, he was completely against the bill.

He said the trend of the debate showed that the Senate was poised to do justice to the bill by removing offensive sections.

To him, it seems a consensus is being built around certain sections of the bill.

He noted that most contributors agreed that the power of the minister should be reduced, such that the minister will just be like any other minister.

Goje said: “We should not create a super minister.”

He said that definite provision should be made for frontier exploration, especially adequate funding.

He opposed 10 per cent host community fund.

Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North East) described the bill as very important and long overdue.

Gemade said an adage says: “Wherever you find oil, corruption creeps in and wherever you find diamond war emerges.”

He said the adage had been proved to be true.

Gemade said the bill contained good and bad provisions. He listed the good sections to include development of the gas sector, increase in promotion of local content and the unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The bad sections, he said, include the minister’s economic power.

On the host community fund, Gemade said efforts should be made to ensure that it does not degenerate to very poor management of resources as it is, according to him, in the Niger Delta Development Commission, 13 per cent derivation and others.

On the frontier exploration, he said more effort should be geared towards discovering oil in other places.

Senator Akin Odunsi ( Ogun West) described the bill as the most important legislation before the National Assembly.

Odunsi noted that the bill becomes even more important when it is recognised that the country runs a mono economy based on oil.

The lawmaker cautioned against undue sentiment in the consideration of the bill.

He agreed that the bill was not perfect but posited that it could be fine-tuned to engender development.

Senator Abdulahi Adamu (Nasarawa West) said he was giving the bill “a reserved support”.

Adamu expressed worry about the absence of transparency and accountability in the oil sector.

He said the bill appears to contradict the Constitution (as amended), especially when it is recognised that oil and gas as well as other minerals are in the Exclusive List and under the control of the Federal Government.

The lawmaker cautioned about the unbundling of the NNPC in order not to put up the corporation for outright purchase by wealthy Nigerians.

On the host community fund, Adamu said the provision would create the fourth tier of government.

To Senator Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East), the bill will be counter productive in its present form. He demanded the definition of host community.

Ashafa said pipelines burst at times not because of vandalisation but because of the integrity of the pipes.

Senator Ayogu Eze said his support for the bill stemmed from the realization that the oil sector should be reformed.

Eze highlighted issues of details in the bill, which, he said, should be addressed at the committee and public hearing levels.

It was obvious that most northern Senators were not comfortable with. 

What a revelation on the inequalities/lopsidedness in our flawed federalism, where monkey dey work, baboon dey chop!!! How will Northern Senators support, when they are the beneficiaries of the flawed status-quo.       We are now in George Orwell,s Animal Farm, where some animals are more equal than others CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY!°

Chinese Government Bans Children From Going to Churches 

The Chinese Government have banned children from attending churches in the country.

This is in a bid to tighten their grip on religious activities.

The new directive by the Government also prohibits children from attending religious sermons and other related activities across China.

This control on churches in the country started several years ago when places of worship were told to remove crosses from their buildings in Zhejiang Province.

A researcher for Amnesty International, William Nee, who spoke to Mail Online UK, said, “At this point it’s unclear how widespread the ban on children attending church services are in China, but these alarming reports seem to be coming in from fairly diverse areas throughout the country.”

Nee further said that the move reflects the tightening control of religion in “particular Islam and Christianity under the present administration” in the Asian country.

She added,

“In an important speech on religion last year, the President, Xi Jinping, said that young people must study science, believe in science and develop a ‘correct’ worldview and set of values.

“It could be that the government is concerned that young people going to church or religious activities may challenge their monopoly on truth and the government’s ability to instill its own historical narratives and worldview through the public education system‎.” Read Also

Another Pastor Lands In Hospital While Attempting To Fly To Jerusalem ‘With Artificial Wings’!! (Photos)

Jul 20, 2017 12:20 PM

A senior pastor of the Labourers Assembly, in Singorwet ward, Bomet County, Kenya, pastor Nwanga Gwranja has been rescued after unsuccessful attempted to fly to Jerusalem using artificial wings. The controversial pastor fell off a tree and break his legs in the process.
Gwranja, known for predicting the second coming of Jesus on several occasions, something which has never come to pass, is said to have gone round the village announcing his departure to Jerusalem.

According to Standard News, the pastor said he was following an invitation by God himself in a dream.

Residents said the pastor, who had tied improvised wings made of polythene bags and rags to his shoulders, had also spoken during his sermon early Sunday, of his imminent trip to Jerusalem.

A member of the church told the newspaper, “We thought he was joking until he appeared dressed in his flying gear, bidding people farewell.”

He was said to have asked curious members of his church, who had gathered to see him off, to escort him to a tall Eucalyptus tree, which he claimed was a suitable take off point, as revealed to him by God.

As the pastor climbed atop the tree nervous parishioners, who thought he was on a suicide mission, alerted the chief who in turn called the police and ambulances for an emergency rescue.

Word had gone round and   a short time, the scene was jammed with thousands of locals, eager to see the man of God flying to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, authoritiess were frantically trying to get him to climb down.Attempts by the choir master, a very close friend to the pastor, to convince him to abandon his flight to Jerusalem fell on deaf years as the pastor stood his ground, insisting, “I must fly to Jerusalem”.“You cannot stop an idea whose time has come more so when it has the blessings of the most high! Just let me go”, insisted the pastor atop the tall tree.

Elders were soon summoned to come and convince the adamant pastor against attempting to take off without their blessings.

But the elders were met with utter shock when the man of God rebuked them, saying God was showing him the elders burning in hell for trying to stop him.

“You can command humans to stop going against worldly cultures but commanding against God’s commandment is impossible.

“You should rather repent because these are the last days, Jesus is coming back,” the pastor retorted.

Cries and mourning of women and children who feared for the pastor’s life, did not deter the man of God.

When he discovered that a young man who had climbed the tree to get him was almost catching up with him, he spread his wings and took a plunge.

The pastor came tumbling down with a thud, and immediately began wailing, asking for help.

Gwranja’s legs were broken, his nose bleeding as he later passed out.

He was rushed to a local hospital.

How Wife Paid Assassin N10,000 To Kill Her Husband In Osun 

breaking news

Time was 3:00am. Place was Osogbo in Osun State. Dolapo,a prison fresh returnee and killer that was contracted for a N10,000:00 fee was hidden all night somewhere in the house by Mrs Omotayo Salawudeen. He was waiting for the zero hour to come and when the time came as per plan, armed with a jackknife he tip toed into the bedroom. Earlier, Omotayo and Akeem the husband just had a nice round of sex before the man drifted into sleep.

Little did late Akeem realise that was his last of such act with his erroneously assumed “darling wife”on this mother earth. Pronto! At the sight of Dolapo the angel of death, the vigil keeping wife picked the pillow and covered the face of her tired and sleeping husband with it. Dolapo resumed the knifing. Akeem was jackknifed severally on the chest and abdomen to such that he died immediately. Sure her husband of seventeen years and father of her three children aged 17,15 and 12 was dead, Mrs Salawudeen provided Dolapo with water to wash his blood soaked hands also gave him one of the husband’s Tee Shirt to replace his own blood stained shirt. Before killer Dolapo exited the house and in a preemptive design to confuse the police investigators; he scripted on the wall ” NO PRICE NO PAY – AYE AXE. FORGIVENESS IS A SIN”.
Perfect, the both of them thought but not so with the born detective and Commissioner of Police Fimihan Adeoye, the CP in charge of Osun. Fimihan, true to his name found them and o si fi won han araye.

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I I’d napped Victim Narrates How He Escaped The Night Before Evans Planned To Kill Him After Holding Him For Three Month,s

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Kidnap Victim Narrates

A really jaw dropping and quite sad story which has been shared by Vanguard newspaper tells of a man with the name, Chief Donatus (as he preferred to be identified in story for security reasons), who is one of Evan’s kidnap victims and he was abducted near his office on February 14, 2017.

He was held for three whole months and miraculously escaped from their hideout. In his exclusive interview with Vanguard, the man gave a vivid account of the breathtaking ugly encounter.

Read it below:

(Chief Donatus would not want his pictures published as police have not offered him any protection and he is still afraid of the Evans gang)

Excerpts;

On the 14th February, 2017, at about 7:30pm, while I was going home from my office at Ilupeju, I suddenly saw an SUV opposite me. I wanted to reverse but somebody in the front came down with a long gun and dragged me out from my car.

He pushed me inside the SUV. Immediately they moved away from the street, they transferred me to the back of the SUV and covered me with a car mat while one of them sat on top of me. They drove me to an unknown place but before we got there, the one at the back with me now put iron (chain) on my hands.

There were about five of them in the SUV. I was carried away and didn’t know what to say. I was afraid for my life and was thinking whether they were assassins or kidnappers because I have some cases in the court. So, I thought maybe those people are the ones after me.

Trip to hideout

When we got there, they asked me to come down but remain faced down, which I did. The house was a bungalow with a parlour and their generator was on.

They asked me; are you Chief Donatus, I said yes, what’s your wife’s name? I told them. They now told me that they were not going to harm me, that what they wanted was their own share and that I should corporate.

After that, they brought out one AK-47 and a pistol with live ammunitions and showed me that this is not a child’s play. They now brought out a locally made iron like chain and put on my legs, blindfolded me, then pushed me into one dark room. It was a self-contained room with bathroom and toilet inside.

There was a standing fan, one high rise foam with bed spread and curtains on the widow but throughout my stay there, it was not opened even for one day.

I was there till the following day. There was no food for me through out that night, but in the morning, they brought Indomie for me after brushing. I took my bath and ate.

They asked me not to look at them any time I wanted to bath so when the time comes; I raised the blindfold up a bit, making sure that they did not see me.

Familiar voice echoes

After about two days, I heard a voice that sounds like my pharmacist, Emeke and it was while I was eating, normally while eating, I used to raise the blindfold up small to enable me to see. He asked them where they kept me.

As he was talking, ours eyes met and he shuddered. He now withdrew, but before he left, he asked them whether they have contacted my brothers and they said no. I was hearing everything they were discussing. They even asked how they could get to my wife but he told them that my wife doesn’t usually come to the office.

What I noticed was that, in the first one week, they were not harsh but that changed all of a sudden. I used to brush every morning but it became once in a week. I noticed that, any time they wanted me to bathe, they would come to my room early morning with one small bucket of water and asked me to get up and take my bath.

Then after that, everywhere would be so quiet as if nobody lived in that compound. So, in the night before they put on their generator, it used to be around 8:30pm so that the neighbourhood would now think that they have come back from their home while they were inside the house all through without any music and no television.

I noticed also that, whenever their boss called them, they would put on one small radio so that neighbours would not hear whatever they were discussing. After five days there, I started getting weak and I asked them how much I have to pay. Their manager now called their chairman and they discussed.

Their chairman, as they called him, was not discussing with anybody except the manager, they were three. The manager now came to me and said his boss said my bill was two million dollars.

I asked where I would get that kind of money. We don’t usually keep money at home; we do borrow from banks to do business. After much pleading, he reduced it to one million dollar. But after two days, he said, he has gotten more information about me and it’s no more dollars again, it’s one million Euros.

At exactly two weeks of my hostage, they contacted my brother through the phone number I gave them. When he called my brother, he asked his manager to connect me, I think it was a conference call because he was hearing the conversation but whenever he wanted to talk to me, he would put it on pause and would tell me what to tell my family.

Negotiation starts

Initially, I was telling my brother that, they said it was one million Euros but he said, “No, that I’m a mad person, that I should tell my brother that I have agreed with them that it is one million Euros” and I did so. My brothers were crying because where would they get such an amount of money. There were times they would be beating me so that my brothers would hear and know that I was suffering.

That iron was on my leg throughout my stay in the place except when I was going to bath. They used to serve me indomie twice a day or some times, Semovita with one meat. They used to cook in the house. There was a lady that used to come and cook for them.

The lady used to come with a small girl. My brother called and said that there was no money but they managed to gather fifty million and he said my brothers were all mad, that if they did not complete the money, he was prepared to keep me for the next one year and that they were not paying rent and that they were the owners of the house.

For one month, I was there because gathering that money was not easy. I did not know whether I was the only victim there or not because throughout my 90 days incarceration, I was only in that one room.

He vowed to collect the ransom complete. My brothers went to collect a lot of money from our relatives. I know when it was one hundred million, but he still insisted. I knew there was a time the exchange dropped, so, he now asked them not to change the money.

When he said one million Euros, the Euro was about five hundred and thirty naira per Euro. So, when the rate was dropping, he asked them not to change, that it was now naira they wanted because he thought naira was gaining value, which would have been five hundred million. When my brother now told them that he was not able to get one hundred million, they said he was talking rubbish.

It was Tuesday before Easter; my brothers were doing everything to get me out to celebrate Easter with them. He now called my brother and said he should bring whatsoever they had; my brother now told them what he had.

He told my elder brother that he was going to be the one that would deliver the money and that he would shoot his two legs if he tried to joke with them.

They were all quarrelling. The manger now took the phone from me and started insulting my brother that, he was very stupid, and very wicked, that he wanted me to die so that he could go and inherit my property. On Thursday, before Easter, I asked the manager about their chairman.

I used to chat with them, and I was trying to be friendly with them. Then the manager told me that the chairman travelled to America. He came back the next Sunday after Easter. I now asked; can I talk to my brothers? Because it was like I have already been cut off from the real world.

Effect of Vanguard publication

So, the first publication about my abduction in Vanguard newspapers was on Saturday, then, the chairman (Evans) called his manager and was speaking with anger saying that my brother wanted to kill me.

After the call, his manager now came to me to say that, “your brother doesn’t want you alive. He went to do a newspaper publication while he has been begging that he doesn’t have money. Now, where did he get the money to do the publication?”

On Sunday, the chairman called to say that I should thank my God, that if they had published that story in Vanguard before now, there was no way he wouldn’t have collected one billion naira from me. Then on Tuesday, the story was everywhere on Facebook.

The chairman now called the manager again complaining bitterly about the publication on Facebook. But again, I pleaded with them that my brother didn’t have Facebook account just like me. He doesn’t have time for all these things, maybe it could be women that did that.

They were very angry about that newspaper publication. After that, there was no communication from the chairman even my brothers again.

Calls for change of negotiator

Exactly one month after Easter, he now called again that he didn’t want to discuss anything with my brothers again, that I should call another person.

I now called my cousin and the manager asked me to tell chairman whenever he called that, my brother wanted to kill me so he should hands off this case.

One day after that discussion with the chairman, I heard Emeka, my pharmacist discussing with them. Normally, he did come there every day. Sometimes, he stayed till late night. And I was overhearing his voice. At a point I thought, he was no longer living with his wife because he stayed late there.

Decision to kill me

I heard Emeka discussing with manager but what drew my attention was when the manager said “… .ehh… for that reason, we don’t have choice than to kill him, we would kill him. We don’t have alternative than to kill him.

I overheard Emeka calling my staff from there. He was complaining that I was very wicked, that this was what I have done to some persons.

He was complaining that one of my pharmacists was not cooperating. When I now heard that they would kill me, I now encouraged myself that, maybe it’s not me. There was a day Emeka came again and said, “If you want to kill him, kill him, in fact, kill him” until that week that I escaped from them on Wednesday, Emeka came again and asked them whether they have killed me. They said no… that it is going to be on Friday night.

I said to God, that it has been said that nobody knows when he is going to die but it is like I know when I’m going to die. Even the first day that they made up their mind to kill me, the manager now called the one that travelled to come back so I thought it was going to be that night. I was counting the days because I did not know when my end would come.

I didn’t even know that this was even almost two months after collecting ransom from my brothers. I didn’t know that they collected it. I was told this when I came out. When their Chairman travelled, I thought he travelled to America like his people said or South Africa maybe; he went to save the money. Throughout that Wednesday, I wasn’t myself even when they brought the Indomie, I couldn’t eat.

Mysterious escape from the dark room

It was on Friday night that my miracle happened. Way back, for the 90 days period of my captivity, I was trying to remove that iron from my leg without success, but that night around 2:00 am to 3:00 am, something asked me to get up and I got up and prayed.

After that, the voice said to me that I should try opening that padlock which I did. I squeezed small size of the bed spread and passed it through the padlock and pulled it with little effort once, and the padlock opened.

I said to myself, God, if I go and these people catch me, I will die, and if I remain here till daybreak, I would also die. So, the best thing is that, let me go and try it. It was God that opened this padlock, because I know that it wasn’t my personal power.

That God will lead me out. Before then, I had begged them to be leaving the door linking my room to the parlour open so that I will be getting fresh air from there.

Luckily, there was light that night and there was curtain and linen, so I made sure that the inside of my room was darker than the palour so that, even if they opened the curtain and look inside, they would not see me.

There were two of them sleeping at the palour and because there was light that night, I couldn’t step on anyone of them. I said to my God, I will go; I will go. I left for the palour, from there to the kitchen.

There, I saw another burglary at the kitchen door and I concluded that I could not open it and had to go back through the palour to my dark room again while those people were still sleeping.

I carried the iron and put it back on my legs but didn’t lock it again. One mind said I should go again, I should go and try, I got up again went through the palour yet, they did not notice, then I closed the back door.

Luckily, the wooden door that leads outside was not locked while the burglary was locked at the middle. The upper bolt and the down ones were just held down. When I pushed the upper bolt and the down one, the burglary opened and I now went outside their compound.

I saw their gate, I turned the other side and I saw something like ladder resting on the fence. Their fence had broken bottles on top of it but at that point where the ladder was, the broken bottles were not there. That was where I climbed the fence, stepped my foot and jumped to the other compound.

Escape route.

While inside that compound, I knocked at the door of a flat, one man and a woman came out.

I told them that, I was a kidnap victim being kept in the other compound; I just managed to escape now, please help me. The man said, “Mr. Man get away from this compound before I call the police or vigilante for you” and I responded, please call the police.

The man and his wife went back to sleep leaving me there alone. All of a sudden, everywhere became quiet again. One mind told me that I should go somewhere and hide till day break which I did.

Not up to ten minutes that I left to hide, my abductors now opened their gate looking for me everywhere with their motorcycles. I was in my hideout praying to God to save my life. I was there till day break.

I was looking like a mad person. For three months, I had not shaved, everywhere was white, and I was only putting up a dirty boxer that I had worn for the past 90 days without washing.

When those couple woke up and saw me, they were surprised and as he wanted to raise alarm, I said no, these people there don’t let them know I am here.

I said to him, “please sir; can you just put me inside your booth and drive me away from here?” He said no … he was not going to do that, that I should wait here. He now said he was going to call the chairman of the estate. After about 45 minutes, they came back.

Rescue at last

One young boy that should be above 20 years came with something like a plastic conduit wiring and started chasing me away that, I should go out of the compound and he continued calling me a thief.

There was this uniformed security personnel there, he hit me on the leg and I fell down. I was injured while jumping down from the fence. I now walked out of the compound to one school very close to my abductor’s gate.

I was there as people gathered. I told them that, if these people come and see me here, they would kill me, this is how much I have offered them, that I’m not a thief but they insisted that I should wait until the estate chairman came. I asked what if they come with gun and all of you will run away and they will kill me.

Luckily, one young guy came and listened to me and asked if I could give him my wife’s number? I gave it to him, he called and the number did not go through. I then gave him my cousin’s number and he got him on phone. So, my cousin told him my story and he was now convinced.

From there, we took a bike to the express from where we entered a bus. While inside the bus, people were just staring at me. What they used to blind fold me was a singlet, for ninety days, there was nothing like seeing the sun, so my body turned white. When we got to Idimu police division, we did not spend up to 20 minutes when my brother came.

They now contacted Ilupeju police division where they first made the report. From there, we went to command headquarters where we wasted a lot of time before going to Anti-Kidnapping unit at Surulere.

After that, we went to Igando. While going there, I could not recognize the road but the young man that took me out of that place led us to the place. So, when we got to the estate, I was able to recognize the school where they asked me to sit down which was not too far from the place where I was kept for 90 days.

I recognized the house by the coconut tree there and I told the security operatives, that this was the house. When we came to the gate, it was locked with a padlock and they have all run away.

They had to break it and go inside where their cars, motorcycles and all their properties left behind were there. The security operatives went inside and collected all the weapons they left behind.

Reminiscences

When I heard that they were going to kill me, I said is this how my life was going to end? I was calling my wife, my son and my daughter in my mind, thinking that was the end. Emeka joined me in 2013; he joined me as a sales representative but later became a superintendent.

I used to give him goods to sell and return the money. After sometime he stopped retuning the money and I asked them not to give him goods again. I never expected to hear his voice there. Before then, something happened.

They started telling me things that I did, it’s like they had a lot of information about me. I was told that I gave 40 Toyota Corolla cars to my staff and I said yes, I had 40 marketers and I gave them cars. Everything including my warehouses, they knew.

One Sunday in April, I heard Emeka telling them they should go and start working, and that they shouldn’t talk about money which I suspected they were transferring goods from my stores to where they would take them out of Lagos. I heard him requesting for form M which could help him out in case of police.

My plea

Now that they have arrested their king pin, Evans, I plead with the police that did this good job to ensure that justice was done in this case. It is obvious that many of his gang members are still on the loose.

They should all be rounded up because although I have been freed, I am still not only traumatized but also afraid of my life. It is unfortunate that since I came out of this ugly experience, the police did not deem fit to provide security for me.

I have since relocated with members of my family to an unknown place. It is worse even now that I have no means of livelihood. I have been wrecked after borrowing money from banks to pay the ransom. What we are trying to do now is to start paying debt to the bank.Kidnap Victim Narrates How He Escaped The Night Before Evans Planned To Kill Him After Holding Him For Three Months.

By Michael B. – Jun 17, 2017 0

Kidnap Victim Narrates

A really jaw dropping and quite sad story which has been shared by Vanguard newspaper tells of a man with the name, Chief Donatus (as he preferred to be identified in story for security reasons), who is one of Evan’s kidnap victims and he was abducted near his office on February 14, 2017.

He was held for three whole months and miraculously escaped from their hideout. In his exclusive interview with Vanguard, the man gave a vivid account of the breathtaking ugly encounter.

Read it below:

(Chief Donatus would not want his pictures published as police have not offered him any protection and he is still afraid of the Evans gang)

Excerpts;

On the 14th February, 2017, at about 7:30pm, while I was going home from my office at Ilupeju, I suddenly saw an SUV opposite me. I wanted to reverse but somebody in the front came down with a long gun and dragged me out from my car.

He pushed me inside the SUV. Immediately they moved away from the street, they transferred me to the back of the SUV and covered me with a car mat while one of them sat on top of me. They drove me to an unknown place but before we got there, the one at the back with me now put iron (chain) on my hands.

There were about five of them in the SUV. I was carried away and didn’t know what to say. I was afraid for my life and was thinking whether they were assassins or kidnappers because I have some cases in the court. So, I thought maybe those people are the ones after me.

Trip to hideout

When we got there, they asked me to come down but remain faced down, which I did. The house was a bungalow with a parlour and their generator was on.

They asked me; are you Chief Donatus, I said yes, what’s your wife’s name? I told them. They now told me that they were not going to harm me, that what they wanted was their own share and that I should corporate.

After that, they brought out one AK-47 and a pistol with live ammunitions and showed me that this is not a child’s play. They now brought out a locally made iron like chain and put on my legs, blindfolded me, then pushed me into one dark room. It was a self-contained room with bathroom and toilet inside.

There was a standing fan, one high rise foam with bed spread and curtains on the widow but throughout my stay there, it was not opened even for one day.

I was there till the following day. There was no food for me through out that night, but in the morning, they brought Indomie for me after brushing. I took my bath and ate.

They asked me not to look at them any time I wanted to bath so when the time comes; I raised the blindfold up a bit, making sure that they did not see me.

Familiar voice echoes

After about two days, I heard a voice that sounds like my pharmacist, Emeke and it was while I was eating, normally while eating, I used to raise the blindfold up small to enable me to see. He asked them where they kept me.

As he was talking, ours eyes met and he shuddered. He now withdrew, but before he left, he asked them whether they have contacted my brothers and they said no. I was hearing everything they were discussing. They even asked how they could get to my wife but he told them that my wife doesn’t usually come to the office.

What I noticed was that, in the first one week, they were not harsh but that changed all of a sudden. I used to brush every morning but it became once in a week. I noticed that, any time they wanted me to bathe, they would come to my room early morning with one small bucket of water and asked me to get up and take my bath.

Then after that, everywhere would be so quiet as if nobody lived in that compound. So, in the night before they put on their generator, it used to be around 8:30pm so that the neighbourhood would now think that they have come back from their home while they were inside the house all through without any music and no television.

I noticed also that, whenever their boss called them, they would put on one small radio so that neighbours would not hear whatever they were discussing. After five days there, I started getting weak and I asked them how much I have to pay. Their manager now called their chairman and they discussed.

Their chairman, as they called him, was not discussing with anybody except the manager, they were three. The manager now came to me and said his boss said my bill was two million dollars.

I asked where I would get that kind of money. We don’t usually keep money at home; we do borrow from banks to do business. After much pleading, he reduced it to one million dollar. But after two days, he said, he has gotten more information about me and it’s no more dollars again, it’s one million Euros.

At exactly two weeks of my hostage, they contacted my brother through the phone number I gave them. When he called my brother, he asked his manager to connect me, I think it was a conference call because he was hearing the conversation but whenever he wanted to talk to me, he would put it on pause and would tell me what to tell my family.

Negotiation starts

Initially, I was telling my brother that, they said it was one million Euros but he said, “No, that I’m a mad person, that I should tell my brother that I have agreed with them that it is one million Euros” and I did so. My brothers were crying because where would they get such an amount of money. There were times they would be beating me so that my brothers would hear and know that I was suffering.

That iron was on my leg throughout my stay in the place except when I was going to bath. They used to serve me indomie twice a day or some times, Semovita with one meat. They used to cook in the house. There was a lady that used to come and cook for them.

The lady used to come with a small girl. My brother called and said that there was no money but they managed to gather fifty million and he said my brothers were all mad, that if they did not complete the money, he was prepared to keep me for the next one year and that they were not paying rent and that they were the owners of the house.

For one month, I was there because gathering that money was not easy. I did not know whether I was the only victim there or not because throughout my 90 days incarceration, I was only in that one room.

He vowed to collect the ransom complete. My brothers went to collect a lot of money from our relatives. I know when it was one hundred million, but he still insisted. I knew there was a time the exchange dropped, so, he now asked them not to change the money.

When he said one million Euros, the Euro was about five hundred and thirty naira per Euro. So, when the rate was dropping, he asked them not to change, that it was now naira they wanted because he thought naira was gaining value, which would have been five hundred million. When my brother now told them that he was not able to get one hundred million, they said he was talking rubbish.

It was Tuesday before Easter; my brothers were doing everything to get me out to celebrate Easter with them. He now called my brother and said he should bring whatsoever they had; my brother now told them what he had.

He told my elder brother that he was going to be the one that would deliver the money and that he would shoot his two legs if he tried to joke with them.

They were all quarrelling. The manger now took the phone from me and started insulting my brother that, he was very stupid, and very wicked, that he wanted me to die so that he could go and inherit my property. On Thursday, before Easter, I asked the manager about their chairman.

I used to chat with them, and I was trying to be friendly with them. Then the manager told me that the chairman travelled to America. He came back the next Sunday after Easter. I now asked; can I talk to my brothers? Because it was like I have already been cut off from the real world.

Effect of Vanguard publication

So, the first publication about my abduction in Vanguard newspapers was on Saturday, then, the chairman (Evans) called his manager and was speaking with anger saying that my brother wanted to kill me.

After the call, his manager now came to me to say that, “your brother doesn’t want you alive. He went to do a newspaper publication while he has been begging that he doesn’t have money. Now, where did he get the money to do the publication?”

On Sunday, the chairman called to say that I should thank my God, that if they had published that story in Vanguard before now, there was no way he wouldn’t have collected one billion naira from me. Then on Tuesday, the story was everywhere on Facebook.

The chairman now called the manager again complaining bitterly about the publication on Facebook. But again, I pleaded with them that my brother didn’t have Facebook account just like me. He doesn’t have time for all these things, maybe it could be women that did that.

They were very angry about that newspaper publication. After that, there was no communication from the chairman even my brothers again.

Calls for change of negotiator

Exactly one month after Easter, he now called again that he didn’t want to discuss anything with my brothers again, that I should call another person.

I now called my cousin and the manager asked me to tell chairman whenever he called that, my brother wanted to kill me so he should hands off this case.

One day after that discussion with the chairman, I heard Emeka, my pharmacist discussing with them. Normally, he did come there every day. Sometimes, he stayed till late night. And I was overhearing his voice. At a point I thought, he was no longer living with his wife because he stayed late there.

Decision to kill me

I heard Emeka discussing with manager but what drew my attention was when the manager said “… .ehh… for that reason, we don’t have choice than to kill him, we would kill him. We don’t have alternative than to kill him.

I overheard Emeka calling my staff from there. He was complaining that I was very wicked, that this was what I have done to some persons.

He was complaining that one of my pharmacists was not cooperating. When I now heard that they would kill me, I now encouraged myself that, maybe it’s not me. There was a day Emeka came again and said, “If you want to kill him, kill him, in fact, kill him” until that week that I escaped from them on Wednesday, Emeka came again and asked them whether they have killed me. They said no… that it is going to be on Friday night.

I said to God, that it has been said that nobody knows when he is going to die but it is like I know when I’m going to die. Even the first day that they made up their mind to kill me, the manager now called the one that travelled to come back so I thought it was going to be that night. I was counting the days because I did not know when my end would come.

I didn’t even know that this was even almost two months after collecting ransom from my brothers. I didn’t know that they collected it. I was told this when I came out. When their Chairman travelled, I thought he travelled to America like his people said or South Africa maybe; he went to save the money. Throughout that Wednesday, I wasn’t myself even when they brought the Indomie, I couldn’t eat.

Mysterious escape from the dark room

It was on Friday night that my miracle happened. Way back, for the 90 days period of my captivity, I was trying to remove that iron from my leg without success, but that night around 2:00 am to 3:00 am, something asked me to get up and I got up and prayed.

After that, the voice said to me that I should try opening that padlock which I did. I squeezed small size of the bed spread and passed it through the padlock and pulled it with little effort once, and the padlock opened.

I said to myself, God, if I go and these people catch me, I will die, and if I remain here till daybreak, I would also die. So, the best thing is that, let me go and try it. It was God that opened this padlock, because I know that it wasn’t my personal power.

That God will lead me out. Before then, I had begged them to be leaving the door linking my room to the parlour open so that I will be getting fresh air from there.

Luckily, there was light that night and there was curtain and linen, so I made sure that the inside of my room was darker than the palour so that, even if they opened the curtain and look inside, they would not see me.

There were two of them sleeping at the palour and because there was light that night, I couldn’t step on anyone of them. I said to my God, I will go; I will go. I left for the palour, from there to the kitchen.

There, I saw another burglary at the kitchen door and I concluded that I could not open it and had to go back through the palour to my dark room again while those people were still sleeping.

I carried the iron and put it back on my legs but didn’t lock it again. One mind said I should go again, I should go and try, I got up again went through the palour yet, they did not notice, then I closed the back door.

Luckily, the wooden door that leads outside was not locked while the burglary was locked at the middle. The upper bolt and the down ones were just held down. When I pushed the upper bolt and the down one, the burglary opened and I now went outside their compound.

I saw their gate, I turned the other side and I saw something like ladder resting on the fence. Their fence had broken bottles on top of it but at that point where the ladder was, the broken bottles were not there. That was where I climbed the fence, stepped my foot and jumped to the other compound.

Escape route.

While inside that compound, I knocked at the door of a flat, one man and a woman came out.

I told them that, I was a kidnap victim being kept in the other compound; I just managed to escape now, please help me. The man said, “Mr. Man get away from this compound before I call the police or vigilante for you” and I responded, please call the police.

The man and his wife went back to sleep leaving me there alone. All of a sudden, everywhere became quiet again. One mind told me that I should go somewhere and hide till day break which I did.

Not up to ten minutes that I left to hide, my abductors now opened their gate looking for me everywhere with their motorcycles. I was in my hideout praying to God to save my life. I was there till day break.

I was looking like a mad person. For three months, I had not shaved, everywhere was white, and I was only putting up a dirty boxer that I had worn for the past 90 days without washing.

When those couple woke up and saw me, they were surprised and as he wanted to raise alarm, I said no, these people there don’t let them know I am here.

I said to him, “please sir; can you just put me inside your booth and drive me away from here?” He said no … he was not going to do that, that I should wait here. He now said he was going to call the chairman of the estate. After about 45 minutes, they came back.

Rescue at last

One young boy that should be above 20 years came with something like a plastic conduit wiring and started chasing me away that, I should go out of the compound and he continued calling me a thief.

There was this uniformed security personnel there, he hit me on the leg and I fell down. I was injured while jumping down from the fence. I now walked out of the compound to one school very close to my abductor’s gate.

I was there as people gathered. I told them that, if these people come and see me here, they would kill me, this is how much I have offered them, that I’m not a thief but they insisted that I should wait until the estate chairman came. I asked what if they come with gun and all of you will run away and they will kill me.

Luckily, one young guy came and listened to me and asked if I could give him my wife’s number? I gave it to him, he called and the number did not go through. I then gave him my cousin’s number and he got him on phone. So, my cousin told him my story and he was now convinced.

From there, we took a bike to the express from where we entered a bus. While inside the bus, people were just staring at me. What they used to blind fold me was a singlet, for ninety days, there was nothing like seeing the sun, so my body turned white. When we got to Idimu police division, we did not spend up to 20 minutes when my brother came.

They now contacted Ilupeju police division where they first made the report. From there, we went to command headquarters where we wasted a lot of time before going to Anti-Kidnapping unit at Surulere.

After that, we went to Igando. While going there, I could not recognize the road but the young man that took me out of that place led us to the place. So, when we got to the estate, I was able to recognize the school where they asked me to sit down which was not too far from the place where I was kept for 90 days.

I recognized the house by the coconut tree there and I told the security operatives, that this was the house. When we came to the gate, it was locked with a padlock and they have all run away.

They had to break it and go inside where their cars, motorcycles and all their properties left behind were there. The security operatives went inside and collected all the weapons they left behind.

Reminiscences

When I heard that they were going to kill me, I said is this how my life was going to end? I was calling my wife, my son and my daughter in my mind, thinking that was the end. Emeka joined me in 2013; he joined me as a sales representative but later became a superintendent.

I used to give him goods to sell and return the money. After sometime he stopped retuning the money and I asked them not to give him goods again. I never expected to hear his voice there. Before then, something happened.

They started telling me things that I did, it’s like they had a lot of information about me. I was told that I gave 40 Toyota Corolla cars to my staff and I said yes, I had 40 marketers and I gave them cars. Everything including my warehouses, they knew.

One Sunday in April, I heard Emeka telling them they should go and start working, and that they shouldn’t talk about money which I suspected they were transferring goods from my stores to where they would take them out of Lagos. I heard him requesting for form M which could help him out in case of police.

My plea

Now that they have arrested their king pin, Evans, I plead with the police that did this good job to ensure that justice was done in this case. It is obvious that many of his gang members are still on the loose.

They should all be rounded up because although I have been freed, I am still not only traumatized but also afraid of my life. It is unfortunate that since I came out of this ugly experience, the police did not deem fit to provide security for me.

I have since relocated with members of my family to an unknown place. It is worse even now that I have no means of livelihood. I have been wrecked after borrowing money from banks to pay the ransom. What we are trying to do now is to start paying debt to the bank.