An Abuja-based single mother, Mrs Olurunfemi Stella has described her ordeal in the kidnappers’ den.
Olurunfemi and her two sons were kidnapped on their way to Minna, Niger State from Abuja, and were released after paying over N3 million ransom.
Olurunfemi, who is yet to recover from the traumatic experience, said she wouldn’t wish anyone not even her enemies to go through such torment and she also advised Nigerians to reduce the rate they travel with their families.
The Edo State-born middle-aged woman, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard said the effect of such traumatic experiences on children makes it difficult for them to grow with loyalty to the nation.
Narrating her ordeal, Olurunfemi recounted that the most traumatizing aspect was that her two teenage sons were victims of the incident.
According to Olurunfemi, “on the 6th of last month, I set out to Minna, Niger state, with my two sons, 16 and 13 years old, to see a sister who just put to bed, maybe that was the mistake I made, with benefit of hindsight, I would have left them behind instead of seeing them go through the trauma they went through in the hands of kidnappers.
“Upon getting to Minna, some haggard-looking, gun-wielding persons, jumped onto the road and attacked our bus. In the process, my two sons and I were abducted and taken into a deep lonely forest between Niger and Kaduna states. We spent two weeks there amid people without mind and conscience.
“They demanded N5 million, which a poor woman like me couldn’t afford, I pleaded with them to see reason. But they are not the type to see reasons. They raped me twice and eventually released me after five days, to go back home and look for N5 million to free my two sons.
“It took me two weeks to sell off everything we had in Abuja and Benin and to raise N3.7 million which I gave them to free my sons.
“Even after dropping the money where they demanded we should keep it, I don’t think I will ever get over the hopelessness of the two days I waited to see my children in flesh and blood again”, Olurunfemi narrated.
She added that despite the fact she was raped twice, the kidnappers also threatened to rape her two sons if she didn’t raise the money on time.
“Since the incident, I’ve not recounted my experience to anybody, if not now. Although I have gone for a medical check-up and have taken medical care of myself and the children, what I am battling with now, is the trauma most especially that of the children. I see in them, a certain sense of distrust in the ability of the country to protect them. I fear for the disloyalty it may create.
“Although the therapists I am seeing are working diligently, even I as an adult has not been able to wear off those horrible torments. Maybe, parents should reduce the rate they travel with their families. I am a shattered woman. I do not wish even my enemy to go through half my experience” Olurunfemi stated.