Rabi’u Umar, a 300-Level student of Adult Education at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, has recounted how he celebrated his last Eid-el Kabeer celebration at the hands of kidnappers after being abducted while working on his farm.
Rabi’u Umar, an indigene of Zamfara, who hails from the Gwaram ward, Northwest Nigeria, under Talata Mafara local government area, disclosed his horrible experience with the gunmen that abducted him alongside his junior brother to this reporter in a telephone conversation on Wednesday, the 20th of July 2022, four days after he was released.
He said: “They invaded our farm and abducted us in broad daylight while we were working on a nearby farm which they claimed was theirs. It was Monday morning. We were working at our farm together with my elder and junior brothers. We just saw their motorcycles, and we thought they might be bandits, and we asked our elder brother to run away.
“They finally grabbed the rest of us, me, my junior brother, and some other people working close to our farm. They carried us on their bikes to a forest called Kanoma, in Maru local government area of Zamfara state.”
He later discovered that the bandits murdered his elder brother, noting that they thought he had escaped when he was told to run away during the raid. They, however, knew about his brother’s death after they were released from the kidnapper’s den.
The family of Umar paid 1.5 million Naira as ransom to get them released from captivity after they were forced to observe their Eid-el-Kabir celebrations with the kidnappers.
“We observed Eid-el Kabeer (Babbar Sallah) in their captivity as we spent 20 days in their custody. We were kidnapped on the 27th of June and released on Sunday, 16 July, 2022, after the payment of a ransom for me and my junior brother was paid.
“We were treated mercilessly in their hands, as we eat only twice daily (morning and evening). They would just give us ground guinea corn with Maggi and salt and assign one of us to prepare the food for us. They beat us whenever they had to take us around, and whenever they were trying to make negotiations with our relatives, our faces were always covered,” he recounted.
Umar did not receive any support from the government, politicians, or any individuals aside from his family members, who contributed the ransom and paid it to the abductors. While in captivity, they were treated mercilessly and were beaten black and blue, forced to eat unhealthy food while their eyes were covered throughout their stay in captivity.
When asked whether the university was aware of his ordeal, he noted that only his coursemates had heard of the kidnapping, but he is not too worried anymore as he has returned to his family in good condition.
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