A 46-year-old mother of four was safely rescued on Thursday six days after she was kidnapped in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Mrs Adeola Dawodu, wife of a Shell staff, was rescued by the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army.
Dawodu was kidnapped by a men in army camouflage alongside her 20-year-old and three-year-old daughters on their way home from a vigil service.
"I left my church, Foursquare Gospel Church, Rumuobiakani, around 5 a.m. on January 20 after a vigil service. I drove through Okporo Road and headed to my residence at RD road," she recalled.
“When I arrived RD road, I felt uneasy because the area was in complete darkness. I got to the entrance of my estate and beeped my car horn for security to open the main gate. After five minutes of waiting; the gate was opened, and as I attempted to drive in, a man in army camouflage came and pointed a gun at me.“He asked me to roll down my window and I refused. As I tried to drive through; the man broke the side glass and hit me so hard with the butt of the gun that I started bleeding profusely."
However, she said her daughters were set free unconditionally after an argument among the kidnappers whether or not to take them. After she dropped off her daughters, she was then blindfolded and taken away in a drive that lasted for about two hours before they arrived at an uncompleted building in an isolated area.
There, the men tied up her hands and legs and handed her over to two other men at the kidnappers’ den. Mrs Dawodu said that her abductors had threatened to kill her if N50 million ransom was not paid to them.
"They told me that they had killed several of their victims who refused to cooperate and others that ransom was not paid."She said that on the day of her rescue, she heard loud noise which she initially thought were from construction sites in the area.“But the sound became louder, and only then did I realise that it was gunshots. I was terrified and confused at the same time. I thought that maybe my abductors were having a clash among themselves and I started praying fervently.“Moments later, some men peeped through the window where I was kept and requested for my identity. It was only then I realised that they were security operatives.”
Expressing her gratitude to DSS officials and men of Nigerian Army, Dawodu said:
“I am so grateful to God, the DSS and the Army for coming to my rescue. It still looks like a film show to me.”