By Monsuru Olowoopejo
One week after Oniba of Iba, Oba Yushau Oseni, was freed by his abductors, the traditional ruler said his abductors bought him drugs to ensure he remained healthy while being hold in captive.
The monarch, who joined the crowd that thronged his Palace to participate in the prayer session marking his safe return and continued protection added that he was was wearing only a T-shirt and shorts when he was freed.
When Vanguard visited the palace of the monarch, hundreds of sympathizers thronged the home of the monarch who was kidnapped on Saturday, July 16 in his Palace.
He was abducted when he was about having his bath. He was set free last Saturday by his abductors at about 7 pm after three weeks of abduction.
Many of the jubilant sympathizers were eating and drinking to celebrate the safe return of the monarch from his captors who collected N15.1 before releasing him. Among those who visited the Oniba was a state government delegation led by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami.
The daughter of the monarch, Ms Dayo Oseni, who was elated in an interview with Vanguard said, we are celebrating because we didn’t expect such a quick and positive outcome. “Since his abduction, we were afraid that they could harm him. Daily, we were engaged in prayers to ensure his safe return.
“We are happy because we were able to secure his release and that is worth celebrating. It was God that did it not us; so we need to show our appreciation to God.”
She further disclosed that after realizing the state of the monarch’s health, “the abductors bought him drugs to ensure he remained healthy throughout the three weeks of his abduction to help him survive during the period.”
Recounting his three week ordeal at the hands of his abductors, Oba Oseni said he fainted while in the den of his captors and sustained injuries to his leg.
Prior to his abduction, Vanguard gathered that the 73-year-old monarch was on medication, prompting the family to change his room within the palace to where he could avoid using the staircase daily.
Oseni said: “On the fateful day of my abduction, I was about taking my bath when I heard a loud noise from the living room, I went to check the cause of the noise and was held. I was blindfolded and taken away with their speed boat.
“After leaving the Palace, they dragged me on the ground to a waiting boat. The act led to injuries on my legs and other parts of my body. While on the journey, it got to a stage I could not bear it any more; I fainted. Realizing this, my abductors fetched water from the river and poured it on me to revive me. When we got to the creek, we passed the night somewhere, I was given food to eat and water to bathe.”
Continuing, he said, “the following day we proceeded on another journey through the waterways and we finally arrived at another location within the creeks where I was taken to a makeshift building where I spent the three weeks.”
Furthermore, he said: “The third day after my kidnap, my abductors contacted my children on phone, but whenever they and my children did not reach agreement on the ransom they would vent their anger on me. They threatened to kill me if my children did not bring the ransom to them. With the assistance of God, my children, family and friends were able to raise the first tranche of the ransom.”
It was learned that the family paid N12 million to the abductors but the ransom was handed over to the kidnappers at Agbara axis of Ogun State.
Confusion over ransom
The septuagenarian, however, disclosed that the first tranche of the ransom caused confusion in the camp of his captors.
He said: “The money (first tranche) later created confusion within the camp because the leaders of my abductors went away with the money leaving their subordinates out of the fund.
“After the gang leader had gone with the first ransom the junior ones came to me and said they have to renegotiate with my children or else they will lock me up in a one of the rooms in the building. My children also paid money twice.”
Journey to freedom
Narrating how he reunited with his family, Oseni said: “On the Thursday before my release, they gave me a phone to speak with my children to bring the second tranche of the ransom. They assured them of the money.
“Earlier on Saturday, I was blindfolded, but suddenly that day they changed their minds about leaving, because two of them had been arrested by the Police but I persuaded them and that was how we set out in a speed boat with one canoe following us. At some point, they asked me to go into the canoe which I did. They handed me the paddler and I began to paddle the canoe.
“When I got to a place in Akesan, I parked somewhere and I prayed to God for guidance and then proceeded on the journey not knowing that I was in Iba and started walking on the roadside. When I asked some people where I was, I was told the place was Iba expressway that was how two other boys who knew me in the community saw me and started shouting my name. Infact, they accompanied me to ensure that I was reunited with my family members.”